The Federal Government has committed $23.7 million to improving broadband access in regional Australia.
The tender is for a Coordinated Communications Infrastructure Fund (CCIF) worth $23.7 million in funding. It is part of the National Broadband Strategy and also forms a part of the government’s response to the Regional Telecommunications Inquiry (RTI).
It is open to various levels of partnerships including health or education service providers, community groups, telecommunications carriers and service providers.
However, the government is not limiting the CCIF to these areas. It is also encouraging the various levels of government to jointly develop a solution with a telecommunications carrier or broadband provider.
The government has said this type of project could dramatically improve technological access and online services for Australians in regional areas.
Telecommunications analyst, Paul Budde, said there was no real value for resellers to compete with local and long distance telephone because Telstra was the only provider with a nationwide network, and it leased the infrastructure to resellers.
He said that in order to have a successful regional broadband solution, there needed to be more competition in the market.
Following the RTI, the Government committed $142.8 million to the action plan of the National Broadband Strategy.
The CCIF is one element of the National Broadband Strategy action plan, that has been developed by the National Broadband Strategy Implementation Group.
The closing date for expressions of interest is December 1, 2003.