The first fibre optic backbone link for the NBN on mainland Australia has been laid at Mount Isa.
The link, part of the $250m NBN Regional Backbone Blackspot Program, will run from Darwin, through central and south east Queensland to Toowoomba.
According to communications minister Stephen Conroy, one of the biggest obstacles to rolling out high-speed broadband in Mount Isa had been the lack of competitive fibre optic backbone services.
“Once complete, this link will allow other broadband providers to enter the market and offer faster broadband speeds, cheaper prices and more choice for people and businesses across the region,” he said in a statement.
According to the Federal Government, Mount Isa is the midway point along the 3,835km route from Darwin to Toowoomba, and the longest of the five regional backbone links to be constructed under the Blackspot program.
Conroy said construction of the Darwin, Mount Isa, Emerald and Longreach link by Leighton Holdings-owned Nextgen Networks would take around 18 months.