Affordable broadband internet will soon be available to every home, school and business in Australia, the country's government has promised.
The Australian government announced Tuesday that it will establish a new company to construct a National Broadband Network, which it bills as "the single largest nation building infrastructure project in Australian history."
A government news release estimated the project would take eight years and cost $38 billion, to be funded via a public-private partnership.
The government decided to launch a new broadband internet company, with itself as the major shareholder, after independent experts said none of the proposals received from the private sector offered value for money.
The Australian government said its initial investment will be followed by additional funding through its $17.6 billion Building Australia Fund, with the remainder being raised by selling government bonds and private sector investment.
The planned network is expected to connect 90 per cent of the country to wired broadband services with speeds of up to 100 megabits per second and the remaining 10 per cent with next-generation wireless and satellite broadband with speeds of up to 12 megabits per second.
The Canadian government announced in its 2009 budget that it would spend $225 million over three years to help extend broadband to its underserved communities.