Australian Senate approves $35B broadband network

November 26, 2010

(AP) -- The Australian Senate on Friday approved legislation that enables the government to roll out a 36 billion Australian dollar ($35 billion) high-speed national broadband network.

The Senate's final two-week session of the year was extended an additional day to vote on the enabling legislation that was opposed by the major opposition party. The legislation was passed 30 votes to 28.

It is expected to become law on Monday when it is voted on in the House of Representatives where key Greens party and independent lawmakers have pledged their support.

The fiber optic was a major campaign issue at August elections that returned Prime Minister Julia Gillard's center-left Labor Party with a minority government.

Opposition leader Tony Abbott's conservative Liberal Party had promised a smaller, slower AU$6 billion network with a range of technologies including , wireless and DSL.

Independent lawmakers said their support for Labor's broadband plan was a major reason why they supported Labor to form government. With the support of three independents and a Greens party lawmaker, Labor commands a single seat majority in the 150-seat House of Representatives where parties form government.

Explore further: Huge U.S. telecom bill moves to Senate


Related Stories

Australia announces $30 bln broadband plan

April 7, 2009

Australia announced plans to build a 30 billion US dollar broadband network, its biggest infrastructure project ever, opting to retain government control rather than contract out the deal.

Australia's Parliament defeats global warming bill

December 2, 2009

(AP) -- Australia's plans for an emissions trading system to combat global warming were scuttled Wednesday in Parliament, handing a defeat to a government that had hoped to set an example at international climate change ...

Telstra strikes $10B deal for Australia broadband

June 20, 2010

(AP) -- The government and Australia's largest telecommunications company announced a deal Sunday that clears a major hurdle to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's plans for a superfast national broadband network.

Australia govt expands proposed broadband network

July 30, 2010

(AP) -- Australia's government expanded its ambitious plan to bring broadband to much of the vast country, adding 300,000 homes and businesses to the coverage area Friday in hopes of winning votes in next month's federal ...

Broadband network could switch Australian voters

August 19, 2010

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her challenger Tony Abbott may not be "tech heads", but their starkly opposed views on a national broadband network are a key battleground in this week's election.

Recommended for you

US ends bulk collection of phone data

November 30, 2015

The US government has halted its controversial program to collect vast troves of information from Americans' phone calls, a move prompted by the revelations of former intelligence analyst Edward Snowden.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.