Aussie tech to receive $5 million from Verizon to buy network

AUSTRALIA’S tech sector is set to receive an extra $5m from Verizon in a $25 million incentive package.

The National Broadband Network (NBN) has been awarded $25m from the Australian Government to buy up to 25MHz of capacity, enabling NBN Co to build faster broadband networks in the country.NBN Co chief executive Ziggy Switkowski said the investment would help deliver the NBN’s first commercial rollout by December 2020.

“The investment in NBN Co will be used to deliver the fastest and most cost-effective rollout for Australia’s future digital economy,” Mr Switkiewicz said in a statement.

The deal is worth about $4.2bn over 10 years, and comes as the Government is seeking to expand the NBN network by at least 30 per cent, with the goal of getting the network into 100 per cent coverage by 2020.

Mr Switkais plan would see NBN Co upgrade its existing copper network, and use a mix of fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) and optical fibre.

In total, the Government will invest $4 billion, including $2.3bn in the existing copper and coaxial cable network, as well as $1.5 billion for fibre-optic cables and $2 billion for new fibre optic connections.

The Government has previously promised to expand NBN Co’s fibre-based network by up to 40 per cent by 2020, with fibre-connected telephone and internet service to reach 80 per cent of homes by 2020 if the Government wins re-election.

Mr Andrews said the NBN would help improve broadband in Australia, as it was “the fastest-growing technology sector in the world”.

“Our broadband network has already delivered over 30 per of the fastest broadband speeds in the developed world, and is set for an even faster rollout in the coming years,” Mr Andrews said.

“This is not only about speed, it’s about cost-effectiveness and security.”

“This investment will provide an important boost to our economic growth, helping us deliver the infrastructure needed to enable the NBN to be the best-in-class network in the global economy.”NBN has not yet decided on which fibre-networks will be selected to build the network, but the Government has said it is aiming to build at least 25MHz, with further investment to be announced at a later date.