The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy has refused to say how many homes, if any, have been connected up to Tasmania's National Broadband Network (NBN), something which according to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd should have already happened.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd
(Credit: Commonwealth Government)
In July last year, Rudd said the first homes would be connected "come the end of the year". He added that it was to turn the services on "come July" of this year.
ZDNet.com.au asked the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy whether any homes had been connected. A spokesperson dodged the question, saying "as the Prime Minister said last year, the government is planning to turn on services from July this year and we are on track to do that."
In further correspondence, when asked if any home had been connected regardless of whether it was able to access the internet, the spokesperson said: "Unfortunately the Department is not able to provide further comment on this at this stage". The spokesperson did, however, say that the roll-out was "progressing well" with physical work "well under way".
"Trenching and laying of conduit for the seven-kilometre fibre optic transmission link between Cambridge to Midway Point has been completed," the spokesperson said. Backhaul fibre installation to Smithton and Scottsdale was also underway and due for completion by "end of April 2010", the spokesperson said.
A spokesperson for NBN Tasmania, the company charged with building the NBN, also refused to comment on how many homes had been connected. The spokesperson echoed the department's comments that NBN Tasmania remained "on track" to have homes in stage one ready to begin accessing broadband services from "the middle of this year".