Coonan announces $1.9 billion network

Rural areas fed FttN leftovers

Technology will be constructed to suit the geography and infrastructure of each region, according to Budde who said WiMax could be used to cover 50 kilometre flat areas, with fibre deployed in more dense metropolitan communities.

He said remote inland areas outside a 50 kilometre radius from a metropolitan centre, represent the 1 percent not covered by the Australia Connected plan.

It is an area that will always be forced to use satellite connections.

The government so far has launched the Australian Broadband Guarantee, offering $2750 subsidy to each regional household forced to use satellite connections, the BroadbandNow telephone and Web help desk, and the preservation of the $2 billion Communications Fund, which guarantees funding of $400 million every three years for development of regional broadband infrastructure.

"This review is critical to ensure service parity between metropolitan, and rural and regional Australia and the government will shortly announce the formation of the next independent committee with the inquiry to get underway this year," Coonan said.

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