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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier and Minister for Trade
    The Honourable Peter Beattie


    Premier and Minister for Trade
    The Honourable Peter Beattie

    Sunday, October 22, 2006


    Brisbane residents could be the first in Australia to access next generation broadband under a proposal to build a cutting edge fibre optic network far superior to any existing telecommunications infrastructure in the country.

    Premier Peter Beattie said the Queensland Government would next month seek expressions of interest from the private sector to gauge commercial interest in financing the $550 million project.

    “This is a leading Smart State project that has the potential to boost the Queensland economy by $5 billion and create more than 15,000 jobs," Mr Beattie said.

    “The Federal Government has failed to deliver ultra high speed broadband services to the general community.

    “That’s why our Government is stepping in to work with the private sector in Brisbane to address this market failure which is holding back business development and innovation.

    “At 100MB/second – at least 100 times faster than regular broadband - the proposed network would give householders instant access to high definition video such as movies – eliminating frustrating download times.

    “The network would also enable live high definition video conferencing between residential users from a regular desktop PC or laptop.

    “The fibre optic cable, which would run along existing power lines directly to homes and businesses, would have the capability to deliver the full range of telecommunications services, meaning householders would only be charged one access fee for broadband, telephone and pay television.

    “For businesses, industry and service providers the network would enable the transfer of large files, such as engineering design files, x-rays and large medical files.”

    Mr Beattie said next generation broadband would also enable the Government to realise its investment in new and emerging industries such as biotechnology.

    “It would also give Brisbane a further competitive advantage in attracting new businesses and industry to the city,” he said.

    Mr Beattie said the cable would be rolled out in the Brisbane local government area, using state and local government assets such as pipes, electricity poles and road and rail easements.

    “This project is possible in Brisbane because we have a supportive local council and State Government willing to work with the private sector and facilitate access to government-owned infrastructure to support the construction of a new network.

    “If the project proved successful in Brisbane, there may be future opportunities to roll out similar solutions across the rest of the state.”

    The Coordinator-General will accept non-binding expressions of interest from the private sector from next month with submissions due by the end of January.

    Media contact: 3224 8749 or 0448 757 086

    Sunday, 22 October 2006