On 18 June 2007 the Prime Minister, John Howard announced OPEL, a joint venture between Optus and Elders, had secured $958 million in funding from the Australian Government under the Australia Connected programme.
OPEL will deliver affordable broadband services to rural and regional Australians at metro comparable prices.
The OPEL network will cover 638,000 square kilometres extending across all States and Territories.
OPEL will build, manage and promote a wholesale broadband infrastructure network that will enable wholesale providers and retail ISPs to serve the current and future needs of rural and regional consumers and businesses. Australia's rural and regional ISPs will also be offered highly competitive wholesale broadband access to the new OPEL network.
The OPEL network will be completed by 2009.