Giant telco Telstra today revealed it would extend its existing rollout of ADSL technology to broadband-starved rural areas, if a bid for government funding was successful.
The telco and its rivals are currently competing for hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for rural broadband infrastructure under the federal government's Broadband Connect program.
Telstra's proposal would see the telco use some AU$600 million to extend its ADSL reach from a claimed current 91 percent of the population to a total of 95 percent, delivering speeds of up to 8Mbps.
The money would be used to "extend backhaul infrastructure to a range of remote communities, install ADSL broadband equipment in 1,560 exchanges and upgrade 1,029 large pair gain systems that currently prevent access to ADSL broadband services in rural and regional areas," Telstra said in a statement issued today.
The managing director of Telstra's Country Wide division, Geoff Booth, said the plan would target Australians whose only current broadband option was satellite -- a technology plagued by major latency problems.
Telstra's statement said communities such as Birdsville, Groote Eylandt, Marble Bar and the Tiwi Islands would be affected under the telco's proposal.
The federal government is currently considering a number of proposals for the funding and is likely to allocate the money this year.