National Broadband Network: Empty Thought Or Legitimate Opportunity?

Our (Australian) Government has recently called for submissions regarding the regulatory oversight of a national broadband initiative "National Broadband Network (NBN)".  From an ISOC-AU mail recently, the previously released request for proposals (RFPs) defined the scope of the network as follows:

* deliver minimum download speeds of 12 megabits per second to 98 per cent of Australian homes and businesses;

* have the network rolled out and made operational progressively over five years using fibre-to-the-node or fibre-to-the-premises technology;

* support high quality voice, data and video services including symmetric applications such as high-definition video-conferencing;

* earn the Commonwealth a return on its investment;

* facilitate competition in the telecommunications sector through open access arrangements that allow all service providers access to the network on equivalent terms; and

* enable uniform and affordable retail prices to consumers, no matter where they live.


Do we consider this a rational proposal, or is it a pipe dream?  I’d like to ask another question.. why don’t we have this already?  What are your thoughts?

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