While broadband is still being hotly debated in particular the costs of ’the last mile’ of connectivity, we should not forget that it is the cable to the US (and Europe) that is immensely important too. Much of our traffic goes to the US, as all the big conglomerates Google/YouTube, Microsoft, Yahoo/Flickr, Facebook, etc. etc. are there, as are most hosts for even Australian websites. It still being the case that it is easier and cheaper to buy and host a .com in the US than a .com.au here.
But luckily and without political debate something is being done about this by commercial interests see http://www.pacificfibre.net. It won’t be completed until 2013, but then nor will any broadband backbone.