Construction of fibre network to start in October

Attorney-General, ACCC to help experts pick the winner.

Deployment of Australia's national fibre backbone could begin as early as October when the government is slated to announce the winner of the tender announced Friday.

The Fibre-to-the-Node (FttN) network will reach 98 percent of Australian premises and receive $4.7 billion from the government's Broadband Connect initiative and undisclosed private funds.

Proponents have until July 25 to submit proposals to be reviewed by a panel of experts with advise from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

The Attorney-General's Department will assess the national security implications of proposals in consultation with law enforcement agencies, while the ACCC will advise the expert panel on the appropriate wholesale model, pricing and regulation for the network.

The government has called for submissions from industry and public interest groups to advise it on regulatory issues and consumer safeguards for the network, however it has stated advise will not be considered in the proposal evaluation process.

Proposals for both a nation-wide and state-wide fibre network will be considered.

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