Australian government increases NBN coverage from 90 to 93 percent

Despite opposition from political groups, a report in The Wall Street Journal revealed that the Australian government now plans on upping the coverage of the National Broadband Network (NBN) project from 90 to 93 percent.

However, not everyone is in love with the NBN. Critics of the NBN, including the Liberal-National opposition coalition, argue that the NBN is too expensive and that it would consider shutting down the initiative if it wins in the upcoming general election set later this month. What's more, the opposition party believes that the NBN will create nothing more than another national telecom monopoly.

Shadow telecommunications Minister Tony Smith said that the Liberal Party has an alternative plan that he claims will offer Australian consumers "better, reliable and affordable broadband." Smith added that the plan will not only "ensure those in under-served broadband areas receive a better service as quickly as possible and promote the broader commercial roll-out of better broadband" and that there "will be no misuse of taxpayers' money."

The NBN reached a major milestone in June when Australian incumbent carrier Telstra signed a preliminary $9.59 billion agreement to sell them their copper wireline network. Under this plan, Telstra would over time transfer its customers from its copper-based network to NBN's fiber-based open access network.

For more:
- The Wall Street Journal covers this latest development (sub. req.)

Related articles:
Australia's NBN invites Alcatel-Lucent to network party
Telstra agrees to sell wireline network to Australian government
Australian govt says it doesn't need Telstra to build the NBN
Telstra break up could be in peril
Telstra strikes out against changes to Australia's NBN plan

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