Tasmania was conspicuously absent on last month's list of regions getting priority for backhaul upgrades on the National Broadband Network, but the Apple Isle gets some fairly big compensation: the first major rollout within the project.
The official Tasmanian subsidiary of the NBN (imaginatively known as the Tasmanian National Broadband Network company) was launched today by Senator Stephen "Censorship" Conroy. A lucky 200,000 Tasmanian households will get fibre to the premises, with a potential maximum speed of 100 megabits per second. The rest will have to make do with a potential 12 megabits per second via wireless or satellite, but that's still a massive increase in a state often noted for its poor broadband capabilities (though Lifehacker did OK in Hobart).
Before everyone gets excited, it's worth emphasising that we're still years away from what we all really want — cheaper, faster broadband from a competitive range of suppliers — and that even the Tasmanian options won't be built until mid-2010. But it's a start.