This project, which is instigated by the City of Brisbane, is similar to various British next-generation broadband projects that have been established by i3 Group. The key feature about these projects is that they use publicly-owned sewer mains to lay the fibre-optic cable rather than liaising with the local councils to dig up the roads for this purpose.
The main question is whether the service will be fibre-to-the-premises or fibre-to-the-cabinet which has a copper run to the premises. This also includes whether multi-tenant developments will have full fibre-wiring or copper wiring to each premises in the building.
There is an intention that the service will be a wholesale effort which means that Telstra, Optus and other ISPs can resell the Internet service like they do with ADSL broadband Internet or 3G wireless broadband.
This installation is backed by i3’s private funding and will be in a position to be in competition with National Broadband Network. But there may be a question about whether this will be like the way Box Hill and neighbouring suburbs were provided with mains electricity service by an entity ran by the Box Hill City Council (now City of Whitehorse) rather than the State Electricity Commission before the mains electricity market was reorganised and privatised in the 1990s. This could mean whether i3 have exclusive rights to provide next-generation broadband Internet infrastructure to Brisbane only or can provide in competition with NBN.
As well, another question would be whether the effort will extend to properties in Brisbane’s central activities district or be able to cover most or all of the suburbs in Brisbane.
This may end up with questions about private or municipal efforts to bring next-generation broadband to Australian towns and cities, including efforts to provide proper broadband to regional, rural and remote towns through this country; and whether these competing efforts will be threatened by the National Broadband Network or provide some healthy competition.
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