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Tide rising on Tasmanian NBN

Tasmania's builder of the National Broadband Network, Aurora Energy, yesterday said it would factor in rising sea levels in its assessment of where to lay fibre along the state's coastline.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer on

Tasmania's builder of the National Broadband Network, Aurora Energy, yesterday said it would factor in rising sea levels in its assessment of where to lay fibre along the state's coastline.

"If climate change is a relevant issue that will be taken into account," Aurora's general manager of strategy, Martin Wallace, said yesterday at a government estimates hearing in Tasmania.

Wallace was responding to a question posed by Tasmanian Greens MP Kim Booth over rising sea levels to State Labor minister for energy, David Llewellyn, who deferred the question to Wallace. "What account have you taken of climate change and sea level rises in the latest reports indicating a good percentage of Kingston is built on soft sand and might not be there in 50 years time. Have you made a strategic decision with respect to climate change in where you lay the cable?" asked Booth.

Kingston is one of 10 locations selected for early construction of the network in Tasmania.

Wallace also said that "full designs" for the network had been done for deployments at Midway Point, Kingston and Scottsdale.

"Elements of those towns have been picked to ensure that when we go further into major urban areas, we understand all the issues," he said.

Wallace held back from commenting on the cost per household of delivering NBN Tasmania because its previous TasColt deployment covered around 1200 households, rather than the 200,000 currently proposed. He said the cost per household was currently unknown for rural areas, but would be better known once the government's NBN implementation study was completed.

"People know the costs of urban areas, but not rural areas," he said.

Wallace also explained some of the finance arrangements in place with the NBN Co. "We do the designs, and pick up the money later," he said. "Our general costs are picked up by the NBN Co."

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