The proposal goes much further than the Government had previously planned as fibre-optic cables will now run all the way from telephone exchanges to homes and businesses. It had previously planned to lay cables only from exchanges to cabinets at the end of street corners. In a major blow to Telstra, Mr Rudd said it was time ''to bite the bullet'' after years of neglect of the telecommunications sector.
''Years of failed policy have left Australia as a broadband backwater," he said.The network will include fibre-optic connections to the premises with up to 100 megabits per second, and presumably will include mandatory content filtering at the infrastructure level. Construction will start in Tasmania around the middle of the year.
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