The Federal Government's National Broadband Network (NBN) will be able to provide speeds of 1 gigabit per second (Gbps), 10 times faster than originally envisaged, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has said.
Senator Conroy is accompanying Prime Minister Julia Gillard on the campaign trail in Tasmania, where NBN Co is rolling out the $43 billion network.
NBN Co chief executive Mike Quigley announced the turbo-charged capacity today, following consultations with broadband retailers, although he had already previously said that 1Gbps could be delivered earlier this year.
The gigabit broadband speeds would benefit businesses that required greater bandwidth for video-conferencing.
The announcement was made in Tasmania, where the official launch of the Tasmanian NBN for the communities of Midway Point, Scottsdale and Smithton is happening today.
Senator Conroy said if the Coalition won the election those communities would lose the fast internet they presently enjoyed because of the roll-out.
"We are rapidly entering a new and dramatic phase of growth in demand," Senator Conroy said at Midway Point, east of Hobart.
"NBN Co will provide speeds ... on its fibre product of 1 gigabit per second."
That was 10 times the speed originally envisaged by the government.
Senator Conroy said the faster speed showed fibre technology was "truly about future-proofing" the nation.
Gillard said the super-fast broadband was the economic infrastructure the Australian economy and businesses need for the future.
Residents in the Tasmanian towns with access to the fibre are paying introductory prices from $29.95 a month for 25 megabits a second to $59.95 a month for 100 megabits a second through three internet providers, she said.