Brisbane City Council has abandoned plans to provide high-speed broadband to residents by putting fibre through its sewer system in an agreement with i3 Asia-Pacific, according to reports from a council meeting yesterday.
(Sewer outlet image by Kate Boicourt | IAN, CC2.0)
According to the Courier Mail and the Brisbane Times, Lord Mayor Campbell Newman announced in the meeting that he had dumped the sewer fibre plan to provide Brisbane residents with speeds of 100 megabits per second within four years.
The reports state that Campbell was unhappy with the progress of the deal with i3.
"We are not happy, in fact, with the progress of the i3 group and we will not be proceeding with them," Newman said. "The reason I state that we don't wish to proceed with i3 ... is because ... when we're doing our due diligence we are not happy with what i3 have put on the table."
Campbell revealed that the council was in discussions with other overseas providers to look at alternative solutions, as the agreement for the council to use the sewer network remains in place.
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy mentioned the cancellation of the project in Senate Estimates last night, when questioned about alternative physical wholesale network providers who might compete with NBN Co's services.
i3 has also run into problems with its fibre roll-outs in council municipalities Dundee and Bournemouth in the United Kingdom, where the company was forced to dig trenches after deals to install fibre through the sewer fell through.