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