Improving backbone infrastructure in regional Australia is the first building block in the NBN rollout
What are backbone links and why do we need them?
Backbone links are the broadband highways that connect our cities, towns and rural areas to the wider world.
Regional Australia has traditionally been underserved by competitive backbone infrastructure, resulting in ‘blackspots’ where there is little pressure on a wholesale provider to offer lower prices and higher quality services.
Enhancing backbone competition assists internet and phone providers to improve the range, quality and prices of the services they offer in regional areas – giving families and businesses more choice with services.
What are we doing about blackspots?
The Australian Government has invested $250 million to immediately address backbone blackspots in regional Australia.
The objectives of the Regional Backbone Blackspots Program were to:
- deliver an immediate economic stimulus
- reduce the cost of broadband services
- put in place key infrastructure for the rollout of the NBN
Where is the project up to?
Construction along all five links – Geraldton (WA), South West Gippsland (Vic), Victor Harbor (SA), Broken Hill (NSW) and Darwin (NT) – is now complete.
In total, the program has delivered 6000 km of fibre optic cable across mainland Australia, which could benefit up to 400,000 people in more than 100 regional locations.
The new competitive backbone links will assist service providers to deliver higher quality and lower cost broadband and phone services to regional Australia.
How will this make a difference?
The Australian Government expects the new backbone links will benefit regional businesses and residents in a number of ways, including:
- lower prices, greater choice, more generous download allowances and greater access to fixed broadband services
- higher quality and increased availability and choice of mobile broadband services
- lower cost data services for small and medium enterprises and businesses with regional offices.
Like the NBN, the new links will be offered on open and equivalent terms and conditions to give service providers fairer access to infrastructure and support greater retail competition.
- For more information visit the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy’s website