The Australian government, led by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, has announced a new project to bring ultra-fast broadband to 90% of the country’s population, fulfilling a promise from his 2007 electoral campaign.
Instead of putting the project out to private tender, the government is going to invest A$43 billion (US$30 billion) to create the infrastructure that will make 100 megabits per second connections available to 90% of Australia’s population.
Rudd has played the project up as "the single largest nation-building infrastructure project in Australia’s history."
"Just as railway tracks laid out the future of the 19th Century and electricity grids the future of the 20th Century, so broadband represents the core infrastructure of the 21st Century."
The bulk of Australia’s population lives around the coast, with smaller settlements in the interior, making connecting everyone into a logistical nightmare.
Rudd has promised that the government will sell its share of the new broadband company five years after the project is complete. It’s estimated that the construction could create 25,000 jobs a year, a nice boost in this global downturn.
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