The Australian government has announced it will build a national fiber network to deliver high speed internet across the country, with open access to all ISPs. Anyone who hasn't had dealings with Australia's national ISP, Telstra, will tell you this insanity. Anyone who has, mind you, is jumping for joy. Let's see how long it takes them to decide it's too expensive and sell it to Telstra.
In a surprising announcement today, Australia kicked off its AUS$43 billion "National Broadband Network," which it calls the "single largest national-building infrastructure project in Australian history." Not only will the fiber network reach all the way to 90 percent of Australia's homes, but it will also be open access and available for use by any ISP.
The National Broadband Network (NBN) scheme has been progressing for some time, but when we last looked in on it in 2008, it was a fiber-to-the-node plan that would offer Australians 12Mbps minimum connections. It was also going to be built by a private company, but incumbent telcos like Telstra (which was government-owned into the 1990s) quickly began to make noise about the open access rules—such conditions might not offer enough of a return on investment.