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National Bandwidth Inquiry report released.

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National Bandwidth Inquiry Report released A ground breaking national study has found that Australia is well placed to remain at the forefront of international developments in electronic commerce, the internet and electronic services.

The Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Richard Alston, today released the final report of the National Bandwidth Inquiry which examined bandwidth availability and pricing within, and to and from, Australia.

Bandwidth refers to the carrying capacity of telecommunications circuits and networks. Traffic carried over these networks is rapidly shifting from voice to data, and the total amount of data is increasing dramatically.

'The Inquiry found that wholesale prices for bandwidth in Australia compared well with some European countries but that prices in the United States were lower. However, Australian prices are expected to fall in all areas over the period of study (2000 to 2004). Price falls of 30 to 50 per cent per annum in wholesale markets can be expected on the more competitive and thicker routes,' Senator Alston said.

'This report provides vital information which will help the Government ensure that affordable, high-speed bandwidth is made available to all Australians. It has found there is likely to be adequate bandwidth in the backbone network on most routes to meet the majority of demand scenarios.

'This is because the network capacity can be expanded due to improvements in technology such as wave division multiplexing which enables the light in a single optic fibre to be split up into different colours and carry many simultaneous communications services at one time.

'The report gives a clear indication that the underlying infrastructure is capable of meeting the demands of the information economy.'

The Inquiry was conducted under the auspices of the Australian Information Economy Advisory Council (AIEAC) and investigated the capability of Australia's telecommunications networks to deliver adequate infrastructure support for a full information economy in the future.

The report is available online at using the keyword 'bandwidth' or by calling 02 6271 1058.

Media contact: Terry O'Connor 0419 636 879 or Sasha Grebe 0409 445 246


031/00 5 April 2000