The Australian federal government plans to build its own fiber to the home network.
Renai LeMay at ZDNet AU reports that the Australian government didn't get any viable proposals from the big telecom players. Instead, the government will build its own network in partnership with the private sector via a joint venture (see its overview). Officials noted that the private sector just hasn't stepped up to the broadband plate over the last decade.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said:
"This is the single largest nation-building infrastructure project in Australia's history," Rudd said, comparing the project to the Snowy Mountains Hydro scheme and the building of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
He's not kidding. Australia has a lot of ground to cover and the country's sheer size will make the deployment difficult outside of metropolitan areas. That said Australia's concept---form a government-private sector joint venture and then make it totally private when the network is deployed---is solid on paper. This project will be one to watch over the next eight years.