Australia To Stimulate Itself With Government-Backed 100-Megabit Fiber Broadband For 90% of Oz

Ozzie prime minister Kevin Rudd has announced what will be one of the biggest government-sanctioned nationwide broadband initiatives in history: an A$43 billion plan to bring a fat 100mbps fiber pipe to 90% of Australians.

The plan, which costs $30.5 billion of our U.S. dollars, will rely on a massive infusion of government funds to get the ball rolling on the project, of which the taxpayers will own 51%. It will then be transitioned into a reliance on public sector investment, and the government plans to sell of its stake in the project within five years. It is expected to bring 37,000 jobs to unemployment-hindered Australia,

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). [NYTimes]