While U.S. officials are still kicking around how to spend the $7 billion allocated for broadband expansion, Australia is making a much bigger investment. How big? As GigaOm reports:
The Australian government said today it will spend up to A$43 billion ($30.67 billion) to help set up a national broadband network. This is far from a purely socialist undertaking, however, as private sector involvement is expected as well. Regardless of where the funding comes from, the scope of the project is such that it’s going to revolutionize the Australian landscape.
By 2018 at least 90 percent of Australians will have access to speeds of around 100 megabits per second, mostly through a fiber network that will be built by a company formed expressly for this task. The remaining 10 percent will get their broadband via wireless or satellite links. The network is expected to be complete in 7-8 years, but the government plans to sell its stake in the company within five years.