Government calls for industry offers on city and bush broadband

FttN and Opel aftermath up for grabs

The Department of Broadband Communications and the Digital Economy has issued a Request for Proposal for the government's $4.7 billion Fibre-to-the-Node (FttN) network.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy today called for industry to submit proposals to build Australia's national fibre backbone and regional networks.

"The government has committed up to $4.7 billion and to considering any necessary regulatory changes to enable the roll-out. The government encourages interested parties to come forward with innovative proposals [which] will be assessed by the panel of experts announced on 11 March."

Proposals must be received by 3.00pm AEST, July 25 2008.

The panel will issue their recommendations to the government by year's end, when the department is expected to announce the contract winner

According to local analyst Paul Budde, interest in large telecommunications networks is divided between manufacturing firms who can supply the infrastructure, and seasoned telcos who can deliver the service.

"If [the telcos] are serious, they will get a bid in," he said.

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