The Greens Party has said that regional Tasmanians have been left swinging after a joint-venture deal between federal and state governments for the provisioning of the National Broadband Network (NBN) collapsed.
State-owned Aurora Energy would have supplied parent NBN Co with free access to its fibre network in exchange for a stake in the company after its planned privatisation in seven years.
But the deal was formally outed as having failed this week, leaving Premier David Bartlett to field questions about the future of the network.
Greens MP Kim Booth told ZDNet Australia that the collapse reduces the state's ability to influence the roll-out of the network.
"It is unclear what will ultimately come of the NBN roll-out here," Booth said.
"If we just become a contractor rather than a partner … we are concerned that we will just have passenger status rather than driving the roll-out of the network around Tasmania.
"And that will mean that even less of those regional and rural areas promised fibre to the door will get it."
He said the failure paints a "grim prospect" for other regional and rural areas across the country which have been promised fibre access.
However, Bartlett has said that it doesn't matter that the joint venture had fallen through.
"The exact commercial model used for delivering the NBN is not a major issue. Whether it's through a joint venture or other commercial arrangements," the premier told iTWire in a statement. "Nor will it affect the actual NBN roll-out itself."
The Opposition had criticised Federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy in Senate Estimates in October on the stalled deal. Conroy said then that he would talk to Bartlett.
The deal started showing signs of being in trouble almost a year ago, when NBN Tasmania chief executive Doug Campbell admitted deal negotiations were being effectively sidelined so the company could focus on construction.
Booth said that the Tasmanian suburbs of Dilston, Hillwood and Swan Bay will lose out due to the failure of the talks, because there is friction between the NBN Co and the state as to whether they should be included in the roll-out.