The Queensland government has started seeking expressions of interest for the construction of a high-speed, open access broadband network across Brisbane.
In a statement, the state's Premier Peter Beattie said his government had already received responses from a number of parties interested in the proposed network, dubbed "Project Vista", which was first flagged in October.
"There have already been approaches from the private sector, and Project Vista has also received a positive response from Queenslanders frustrated by the levels of broadband service they are currently receiving," he said.
Beattie said the network -- which will offer speeds of up to 100Mbps to residents and businesses -- would boost the state's economy by AU$5 billion and create more than 15,000 jobs. It would also improve services such as health and education.
Expressions of interest close on February 12, 2007. Further details are available on the project's Web site. The network should commence operations in mid to late 2008 if suitable private sector partners are identified.
Beattie said if the project was successful there was potential for similar services to be rolled out across the state.
Beattie's announcement followed a similar one yesterday by the Western Australian premier, Alan Carpenter, on a government-funded broadband network for the state.
And NSW Premier Morris Iemma yesterday announced free universal broadband internet access would be available in several major central business districts in his state.
Iemma said expressions of interest would be called for next year to establish universal wireless broadband coverage in central and north Sydney, Parramatta, Penrith, Liverpool, Newcastle, Wollongong and Gosford.