Australia’s embattled National Broadband Network will receive a big upgrade in the upcoming federal budget, with wifi access to improve for millions.
Hundreds of thousands of Australian homes and businesses will get access to improved Wi-Fi with $2.4 billion allocated over four years in next week‘s federal budget for the NBN.
Full-fibre access will be provided to approximately 1.5 million premises by 2025 according to the Albanese government, helping to “deliver a faster and more reliable NBN”.
Australia is currently ranked 71 on the Speedtest Global Index for fixed broadband, trailing behind Chile, Thailand, Malta, and Trinidad.
$2.4 billion has been allocated toward the scheme over the next four years in the 2022-23 federal budget.
Those who rely on copper connections will now have the option to swap to a full-fibre connection that promises internet speeds of up to one gigabit per second.
“Australians deserve the same access to affordable, reliable, high-speed internet access regardless of whether they’re logging in from the bush or the ‘burbs,” Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said.
“I want to bring Australians together and we’re doing that by better connecting neighbourhoods and communities.”
The Albanese government expects the construction and installation phase to cause a $2.6 billion boost in economic activity through to 2026.
The scheme is largely focused on outer suburbs and regional areas, with more than 660,000 premises in rural Australia to be able to access it.
An estimated 333,000 properties in NSW will benefit from the move while 240,000 Queensland premises will be offered a place in the scheme.
Around 215,000 Victorian properties will benefit while 150,000 WA residents will gain access to the full-fibre network.
Areas to benefit include Yass and Cessnock in NSW, Clifton Springs and Bendigo in Victoria, Bowen and the Glasshouse Mountains in Queensland, and Margaret River in WA.
The Albanese government expects the internet boost to cause a $20 billion uplift in GDP by 2030 by giving businesses access to faster broadband.
“So much of what we do at home depends on reliable, high-speed internet – things like study, entertainment, working from home or running a small family business,“ Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said.
“The Albanese Government will deliver a better NBN which will improve speeds and reliability, including for regional communities, and enhance equity of access to quality broadband infrastructure.”