Australia Announces National Broadband Plan
Canberra has announced the creation of a publicly-owned company that would build an Australia-wide broadband network.
Several private firms from around the world were bidding for a similar (but less-ambitious) project, and have found themselves out in the cold.
Under the plan, 90% of Australian buildings would be connected by high-capacity fiber-optic cables.
A bold plan-- now if only Canberra can figure out how to deal with actual content.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said the eight-year project would create up to 37,000 jobs at the peak of construction, giving a lift to the economy as retail spending slumps and mining companies cut workers amid weakening demand for Australian metals.
The one detail not yet decided obviously is pricing—set the price too low, and private telecom companies are pissed; too high, and no one will adopt it. But 90% fiber coverage for a country like Australia is an ambitious play (the other 10% will be served through an upgraded 10mbps satellite service).