Aus NBN set for 2Q 2010 launch

Rose Major

The first part of Australia’s national broadband network (NBN) will be open for business in the second quarter of 2010, with backbone fibre built along five routes in the island-state of Tasmania.

In the first phase of the project, nearly 5000 premises will have access to optical fibre broadband capable of delivering speeds of 100 Mbps. Eventually, the network is slated to reach virtually all Australian homes at a cost of A$43 billion, being built as a series of public-private partnerships.

A new company for the Tasmanian part of the network, the Tasmanian NBN Company Ltd (TNBN) will be established and jointly owned by the National Broadband Network Company (NBNCo) and Aurora Energy. TNBN will be responsible for delivering wholesale-only, open access broadband network services.

Meanwhile, the government has appointed Mike Quigley, ex-president and COO of Alcatel, as executive chairman of the new NBNCo. In time, a non-executive chairman will be appointed, with Quigley continuing as managing director and CEO.