WA Govt bins $1bn broadband network

WA Govt bins $1bn broadband network

Summary: The Western Australian Government has decided to bin its plan to roll out a statewide broadband network.


The Western Australian Government has decided to bin its $1 billion plan to roll out a statewide broadband network.

(Road sign in the middle of the bush image by charlene, CC2.0)

The government broke the news in an industry briefing this week, saying that the project was not viable.

A spokesperson for WA Treasurer and Minister for Science and Innovation Troy Buswell said that although the government had called back in 2007 for parties to register their interest in building the network, the majority of those submissions indicated that the size of the state's agency market was insufficient to warrant a significant investment in regional telecommunications.

Even the former government for the state had acknowledged that the network was "not tenable", the spokesperson said.

After the situation was complicated additionally by the National Broadband Network (NBN), the government made the decision that the strategy had to be scrapped.

"The state's new strategy is currently being developed and will be contingent on the outcome of the NBN, to avoid duplication and waste of state resources," the spokesperson said.

Despite the spokesperson for Buswell saying that the opposition had previously admitted the network was untenable, Shadow Minister for science and innovation Kate Doust did not greet the decision with equanimity.

"Without the statewide broadband network we will inhibit and delay the delivery of important skills training, education and health services which could benefit significantly through improved broadband services," Doust said in a statement.

Doust said the statewide broadband network was also developed to complement the Federal Government's broadband initiatives.

"Western Australia could have led the nation and now WA's access will remain well below the standard," she said.

Topics: Broadband, Government AU, Networking, NBN

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
  • Go back and stick you head in the sand Doust.

    Ms Doust please go and stick you head back in the sand.

    Your statement....

    "Without the statewide broadband network we will inhibit and delay the delivery of important skills training, education and health services which could benefit significantly through improved broadband services,"

    Clearly shows you have no comprehension on the subject.

    The Education and Health Departments already have a world class network connecting all hositals and schools throughout the state on the back of the Telstra GWIP platform.

    Each school is delivered a minimum of 2Mbps symmetrical, 10Mbps in major district schools and 100Mbps in many High Schools.

    The State Broadband Network was never going to get off the ground and was poor formed policy of the former Labour government from the day it was launched.
  • T$

    oh so the T$ extortion fees are ok?
  • Definitely not going to cost $1B

    They may pay Telstra rates but at least the cost they are paying is still less then it would cost to build a new network, maintain and service it!

    As soon as they find another carrier willing to provide the infrastructure at the speeds and quality that Telstra offers at a cheaper price then I am sure they will stick with it.

    Has anyone noticed that the first argument anyone throws when Telstra is mentioned is price although they seem to fail to mention no-one else is willing to service the "forgotten" 75% of the country?
  • Did Troy post that?

    Mr Buswell, is that you? Did Ms Doust not let you sniff her chair, is that why you're attacking her?
  • stupid slow broadband

    spewing, and to think most homes in japan have a t1 connection....damn australia and its slowness
  • Read the post again

    Read the post again before commenting.

    The issue is not about price - which I doubt if you have any idea what Telstra is charging for GWIP - the issue was about access and Ms Doust's stupid claim that killing the SBN would "inhibit and delay the delivery of important skills training, education and health services"

    How can it inhibit and delay the delivery of services when there is a network which is already delivering those services.
  • Attacking Ms Doust

    I am attacking her for the inept comments on a subject for which she obviously does not know or understand.

    If you are going to hold a position of responsibility (and be paid the money she is) you should at least understand what you are talking about.

    She attacked the dumping of this project without any knowledge of the current situation or the benefits that the NBN is also going to deliver in this area. The SBN wasted a lot of time both within government and be the providers who responded.

    It was STUPID comments as the result of canning a ill concieved policy.
  • re Did Troy post that?

    Who ever sent this in, could do with a a good smack in the nose, so that he is incapable of chair sniffing. What an objectionable remark, from an obvious idiot !
  • Dinosaurs

    What are they AFRAID of?
    They behave like dinosaurs soon to be extinct.
    Technology is part of our evolution, trying to hinder this is utter stupidity and against natural law. Please implement broadband. You are afraid people will come to information and a knowledge of the truth. You are dinosaurs and you cannot stick to your old ways anymore. awaking human consciuosness naturally wouldn't allow it. You can prepare to lose the next elections.