Australian government expects to invest AUD11 billion in NBN project

27 May 2009

Australia’s Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, has reportedly told Senate Estimates hearings that the government will spend approximately AUD11 billion (USD8.57 billion) on the National Broadband Network (NBN), despite recent claims that total cost of the project would be significantly lower than the expected AUD38 billion to AUD43 billion. ITnews reports that Mr Conroy told the hearing: ‘We are assuming that (the network) could be funded with a 50/50 debt-equity ratio, and that of the equity the Commonwealth will hold 51%. This means that, at this stage, we are envisaging the Commonwealth’s commitment to be in the order of AUD11 billion.’

Separately, but related to the government’s plans to achieve universal broadband coverage, The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) has also said that it has received in excess of 60 submissions for its regional backhaul blackspots scheme, for which it has fast-tracked investment of AUD250 million.