Australian IT is reporting that the first tenders for the National Broadband Network (NBN) have been released by the federal and Tasmanian governments. It is understood that a memorandum of understanding has been signed between the two governments and the Tasmanian state government-owned power utility, Aurora Energy to construct and operate the new fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network. As part of the agreement a new company, TNBN Co, will be formed to oversee the project, and an open competitive tender for the fibre-optic cable needed for the infrastructure has been issued. Commercial wholesale services are expected to begin on the new network by the second quarter of 2010, and the rollout will cost an estimated AUD500 million (USD399 million). Upon completion the infrastructure will cover more than 200,000 premises and offer downlink speeds of up to 100Mbps. Those households or businesses not covered by the FTTH network are expected to gain access to next generation wireless or satellite broadband services at speed up to 12Mbps under government plans.