$20 million for Victorian backhaul

$20 million for Victorian backhaul

Summary: Victoria has earmarked $20 million for building new fibre optic links to rural areas in order to improve regional backhaul and network connectivity


Victoria has earmarked $20 million for building new fibre optic links to rural areas without competitive network infrastructure.

Theo Theophanous, Victorian ICT Minister
(Credit: Parliament of Victoria)

The $20 million VicFibreLINKS grant, part of $300 million promised in the state's 2008 Innovation Statement launched today, will pay for new fibre capacity in regional areas.

"Large regional centres, such as Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo and the Latrobe Valley, are well served with more than one provider of fibre infrastructure. However, important areas of Victoria have growing populations, a strong regional industry and government presence but are being held back by the lack of competitive broadband services," Victorian ICT Minister Theo Theophanous said in a statement.

The money was necessary to address the usage which will result from the national broadband network's faster speeds. "Combined with the rapidly growing demand for high speed mobile data, this means the demands on regional backhaul or network and hub connectivity are only going to increase — which is why VicFibreLINKS will be so important," Theophanous said.

The project would also subsidise the development of new open-access fibre backhaul infrastructure in key regions, including lines from Bendigo to Mildura via Echuca and Swan Hill and Geelong to Warrnambool, with other potential projects to be considered.

The government expected to release the request for tender for the fibre links by 2009.

The Federal government has also pledged $20 million to the effort.

Alongside money for the fibre roll-out, the Victorian government has set aside $15 million to develop Web 2.0 technologies in government, communities and businesses.

The first call for project proposals has been scheduled for mid September.

Topics: NBN, Broadband, Government AU

Suzanne Tindal

About Suzanne Tindal

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for the site.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • There is more to australia...

    It's always trouble and chaos when some poor farmer in Victoria cannot get something. Meanwhile, In WA, we're still in the dark with limited broadband coverage.

    It's really sad that only Victoria ever gets help, never the rest of Australia
  • If they can do it...

    What issues are there competing with Telstra in these routes?

    The Tasmanian Government is having a lot of trouble getting the Basslink cable up and running; apparently one of the issues is commercial viability and that Telstra will drop it's prices as soon as there is competition.

    Is the Victorian situation any different?
  • umm....thats because

    To the person who commented that only Victoria gets help, try reading the article. Vic is getting help in this case because it is the VICTORIAN government putting up the money. Have a whinge to your WA MPs.
  • btw...

    In regards to my above point. I do acknowledge that the Fed government is putting money towards it as well. I'm sure WA would be eligible for similar, if they aren't getting help.