The National Broadband Network (NBN) has ended its three-year auction of spectrum, with the Federal Government saying the $10 billion will now be used for “high speed broadband”.
The auction was due to close on Monday night, but the Government has now put the auction online to close in the first quarter of next year.
The auction saw the government bid for spectrum that was in use by both Telstra and Optus and the Government was able to use $10 million in its bid to purchase some of the spectrum it won in the auction.
The Federal Government has not revealed how much of the $5.2 billion it raised from the auction will go towards the NBN.
“This auction was not designed to go to a market where only a handful of telcos would be willing to purchase the entire spectrum and it did not, and will not, achieve that,” the Government said in a statement.
“Instead, the NBN is going to deliver the most advanced, high-capacity broadband network in Australia.”
The auction also saw the Government announce that it will be buying a total of $7.4 billion worth of spectrum from NBN Co.
The Government will use the funds to improve its fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) network and deliver a faster NBN by upgrading its copper network to a more flexible “network of the future”.NBN Co has said that the cost of the FTTN rollout is expected to be $100 billion.
“This is a fantastic auction, and it’s going to be very expensive to do right,” Mr Morrison said in announcing the auction’s end.
The Federal Communications Minister, Greg Hunt, has also confirmed that the Government will pay for a $2.3 billion upgrade to the copper network in Victoria, which is due to start in 2018.
“We will be using the $2 billion to pay for those upgrades,” Mr Hunt said.
In total, the Government expects to spend $7 billion on the NBN, including $1.3bn on the fibre-coaxial (FTTC) network.
More to come.