Australian state scores free broadband access

As broadband users on Australia's mainland contend with hiccups in Telstra's services, their counterparts on the island of Tasmania are scoring free ADSL (asymmetric digital subscribe line) access as part of the Launceston Broadband Project.

          As broadband users on Australia's mainland contend with hiccups in Telstra's services, their counterparts on the island of Tasmania are scoring free ADSL (asymmetric digital subscribe line) access as part of the Launceston Broadband Project.

          Senator Ian Campbell, parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Communications, IT and the Arts, has announced a scheme that will allow residents of the Launceston region to hook up to the region's broadband network and receive a rebate on installation fees.

          The goal of the project is to attract 2500 subscribers by June 2002. It is being funded by the government's partial sale of its stake in Telstra.

          The premise for the Intelligent Island project was to overcome the "tyranny of distance", as well as to develop information technology and telecommunication as a new avenue for the island state. In fact, The Department of Communications, IT and the Arts predicts that by 2010 the sector will be one of the state's leading revenue raisers.

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