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Australian government sun to set on NBN funding

We'll have our multi technology fully mixed by then

BUDGET 2015 The 2015 Federal Budget has set the date at which the government will drive the national broadband network (NBN, not nbnTM) to a quiet country road, open the door, and drive off.

In the firm belief that the multi-technology-mix-architected NBN will be ready by the 2016/17 budget year (and that the current government remains in office by that time), that's when public funding of the network will end.

The budget brings forward planned NBN equity funding into the 2015/16 and 2016/17 budget years, resulting in an increase to the funding in those years. There's a promise of AU$7.8 billion for 2015/16 and $8.3 billion for the year after.

The budget resurrects “under construction” – derided by Malcolm Turnbull from opposition – as a success metric for the NBN, and promises that by September 2016 3.1 million households will be in that state or already connected.

That will leave less than a year for the rest of the network rollout to be complete if the government is to keep its promise that by 2016 all Australian households will have access to 25 Mbps or better broadband (as they say on social media, “wait, what?”).

Funding for regional backhaul will get $AU11 million this year and over $AU9.3 million next year. Mobile black spot work gets three years of funding totalling $100 million.

While some in the science community have had a reprieve of threats to kill their funding, National ICT Australia will have the cannula of government money disconnected as expected. ®

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