Bush broadband worth $6000 to ISPs

Govt coffers open up for Australian Broadband Guarantee.

Internet service providers will receive up to $6000 per customer to supply broadband to the bush, after the government poured an extra $4000 into subsidies available under the Australian Broadband Guarantee (ABG).

The increase is part of a series of changes to the incentive designed to get broadband access out to areas of remote Australia not served by the National Broadband Network (NBN).

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said the guidelines will give regional and remote Australians more protection in ISP delivery.

"Consumers will benefit through the implementation of standard contract clauses, new requirements for repair and maintenance and a requirement to either shape excess data or charge no more than five cents per megabyte beyond the data cap," Conroy said.

"These guidelines will provide certainty in the development of whole-of-region broadband solutions in the more remote regional areas that may not be reached by NBN."

Subsidies for ISPs have increased from about $2000 to $6000 for the supply of broadband to remote areas such as cyclone-prone regions and off-shore territories.

Remote users will now be guaranteed "added value" services at a minimum of 1024Kbps/256Kbps with a 5GB download limit, free shaping and the right to swap ABG services in the event of downed connections.

The $270.7 million program will come into effect on August 4 this year.

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Darren Pauli

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