Australia Aims For Massive Broadband Network

Britain wants Internet for all, South Korea wants 1Gbps Internet by 2012, and Australia wants to make both of those initiatives look like child's play. According to a new report from Down Under, the Australian government is planning to create a "publicly owned company to build a national high-speed broadband network worth 43 billion Australian dollars in one of the largest state-sponsored Internet infrastructure upgrades in the world."

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd didn't shy away from announcing the remarkable $31 billion price tag, nor did he suggest that it would be completed sooner than eight years from now. Still, the sound of "37,000 new jobs" sure is sweet in today's environment, and we're certain the end result will benefit the nation's economy for scores to come. Rudd was quoted as saying that the project was "the most ambitious, far-reaching and long-term nation-building infrastructure project ever undertaken by an Australian government," and frankly, we believe it.

If all goes well, the network will deliver broadband speeds of up to 100 megabits per second to around 90% of Australian buildings through fiber-optic cables that extend directly to the premises. As for the other 10%, they'll reportedly receive "upgraded wireless access." No doubt, other developed nations will be watching the build out closely, as even President Obama has made clear that he sees Internet expansion as a crucial piece of keeping America relevant in the global market place.