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Priority National Broadband Network investment for regional Australia.



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Priority National Broadband Network investment for regional Australia

The Rudd Government today announced the first round of regional locations for the $250 million priority rollout of the National Broadband Network.

"The Government is moving rapidly to deliver the National Broadband Network and will start work on high-speed infrastructure for an initial six priority regional locations," the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, said today.

"This immediate action will result in new high-speed backbone links to stimulate competition and better broadband services in regional Australia."

"This is just the beginning and the National Broadband Network will ensure high-speed broadband is also expanded to all homes, schools and workplaces across Australia."

The Government’s Regional Backbone Blackspots Program is fast-tracking investment of $250 million to improve regional broadband competition and services.

A competitive tender to construct, operate and maintain the backbone links was called today - with construction expected to begin by September.

The initial priority locations to receive investment are:

z Emerald and Longreach, Queensland.

z Geraldton, Western Australia.

z Darwin, Northern Territory.

z Broken Hill, New South Wales.

z Victor Harbor, South Australia.

z South West Gippsland, Victoria.

"Backbone links are the broadband highways that connect our cities, towns and rural areas to the wider world," Senator Conroy said.

"Access to competitive backbone infrastructure on an open access, equivalent basis will allow retail broadband providers to expand further into regional areas."

"These projects will kick-start the first of 25,000 local jobs that will be directly supported by the eight-year National Broadband Network rollout."

"Submissions from a wide range of stakeholders have helped the Government identify the first six priority locations for these initial backbone infrastructure investments. However, it should be clear that National Broadband Network backbone infrastructure investment will not be limited to these individual locations and routes."

Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy MINISTER FOR BROADBAND, COMMUNICATIONS AND THE DIGITAL ECONOMY DEPUTY LEADER OF THE GOVERNMENT IN THE SENATE

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"Subject to the outcome of the first round tender, more locations will be identified later in the year."

Tender documentation is available online: www.tenders.gov.au

Further information on the National Broadband Network is available online: www.dbcde.gov.au/nationalbroadbandnetwork

Date: 1 July 2009 Contact: Tim Marshall 0408 258 457

Document ID: 117064 | Last modified: 1 July 2009, 1:13pm

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