Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings has announced that if re-elected the State Government would provide NBN Co with free access to Aurora’s infrastructure, which would otherwise generate revenue of $25 million over 20 years, in order to get the Tasmanian rollout back on track. The move was quickly supported by the State Opposition and Tasmanian Greens party.
All three parties believe that a full fibre rollout can be completed in the state at reduced cost to the taxpayers by using Aurora’s existing aerial power poles, as outlined in the Aurora Proposal.
This comes as the Tasmanian state Liberal party also voiced support for the Tasmanian Labor government’s proposal of a full fibre rollout (utilising aerial infrastructure) for the state, while their Federal counterparts intend to rollout fibre optic connections until the end of 2014, then rely on a mix of technologies (mostly expected to be copper) from 2015 and beyond.
However, the final say on the Tasmanian NBN rollout lies with the Federal Government.
Tasmanian Opposition leader Will Hodgman met with Federal Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull and presented what the Communications Minister described as “a very considered and detailed proposal to us relating to conducting fibres and fibre to the premises trials in Tasmania using Aurora’s aerial assets.”
In an interview with the ABC’s Leon Compton, Mr Turnbull has discussed the Federal Government’s plans for the Tasmanian NBN rollout.
Mr Turnbull told the ABC that he has taken Mr Hodgman’s suggstions on board and that the Government will be “doing quite a bit of work at the NBN Co now to see if we can progress that idea of some trials and really test this proposition that Tasmania is different and the cost structures in Tasmania are different because of these aerial assets.”