Australian alliance proposes new version of National Broadband Plan

With approval for a National Broadband Plan being punted around by Australia's ruling body like a muddy football, a group of network and Internet companies have taken matters into their own hands and published a manifesto calling for a market solution to broadband expansion--not an "infrastructure monopoly."

The Alliance for Affordable Broadband's open letter, titled "NBN 3.0," was signed by the CEOs of Allegro Networks, BigAir, Vocus Communications, AAPT, Eftel, Polyphone, and Pipe Networks, Telecompaper reports.

"We believe, generally markets are better managers of capital and technology risk than government. We believe in infrastructure based competition--not infrastructure monopolies with retail competition--as the path way to deliver affordable broadband with a great customer experience," the Alliance wrote.

The letter proposed an alternative National Broadband Plan, dubbed "NBNv3," that would feature "a mix of technologies and a market based approach" to bring broadband to 98 percent of Australians. Alternate solutions included 4G wholesale network coverage nationally at up to 100 Mbps; fiber or high-speed broadband to schools, hospitals and businesses at 1 Gbps speeds; and satellite coverage for remote areas at up to 12 Mbps.

The letter cited solutions that U.S. companies are taking as part of their broadband stimulus plan and said that building a national 4G wireless network using a mix of public funds and private investment could cost only AUD $3 billion ($2.7 billion).

For more:
- Telecompaper has this article
- ComputerWorld published the Alliance's open letter

Related articles:
Australian government increases NBN coverage from 90 to 93 percent
Australian opposition coalition spells out broadband proposal
Broadband becomes an Australian rules political football

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