Advanced Television

Green light for Australia NBN

November 26, 2010

Australia’s plans to build a US $35 billion high-speed national broadband network overcame a major hurdle when the Senate passed a bill to restructure the country’s largest telco.

After days of debate, senators have voted 30 to 28 to separate the retail and commercial arms of former state monopoly Telstra, to increase competition as its infrastructure is incorporated in the new network.

Under the proposal, Telstra will become the NBN’s largest customer, transferring clients from its copper wire and cable networks to the new fibre optic system to be built and operated by the national broadband network. The legislation to split Telstra’s retail and commercial arms prevents it from favouring its retail unit over rival operators who will pay to use the network.

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