Public-private company to build Australian broadband network

Public-private company to build Australian broadband network Sydney - The Australian government on Tuesday scrapped a tender process and announced it would form a new company to build a national high-speed fibre-optic broadband network.

The company would be a public-private partnership with Canberra selling its majority stake when the 43-billion-Australian-dollar (30-billion-US-dollar) project is completed.

"It's the most ambitious, far-reaching and long-term nation-building infrastructure project ever undertaken by an Australian government," Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said.

The money would come from government funds and the issuance of government bonds.

The announcement came the day five bidders were to learn who had won a tender process involving the country's biggest telecommunications companies. Rudd said the tender had been scrapped because none of the bids offered value for money.

Telstra Corp Ltd, Australia's biggest telecommunications provider, dropped out of the bidding process in December after the government rejected its proposal.

The new network would connect 90 per cent of the country's homes to a network with speeds of up to 100 megabits per second. (dpa)

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