To the surprise of precisely nobody, the implementation of a new fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) broadband network in Australia is already being delayed. The Australian reported today that the project is being hit with a four month delay because of the need to confirm an expert panel and to appease telecoms providers who say they need more time.
So, as it stands, the telecoms have until the end of July to submit their bids. After that there will be a three to four month decision-making process before the winner is chosen. Then it will take up to five years to build the network, although we'd expect to see a progressive rollout over that period, so if you live in the city you'll probably get access well before rural Australians do.
As to the choice of technology for the network, the government is keeping its options open. ADSL 2+, VDSL, VDSL2 and wireless are all on the table for the last mile (technically fibre to the home is on the table as well, though nobody thinks that will happen). The most likely scenario at the moment appears to involve VDSL, at least for urban dwellers. VDSL2 could technically offer up to 100Mbits for homes close to the node, though 25Mbits is more likely.
In any case, we're not going to know until the at least the end of the year what it is going to be, and there's a fair chance, we suspect, that it will take even longer than that. [Australian IT]