NBN said the money would be held in trust by it under the Victorian NBN State Program Fund label, with the first project to be 11 new business fibre zones that cover 10,000 businesses in Benalla, Colac, Cranbourne South, Dromana, Hamilton, Lara, Pakenham North, Pakenham South, Portland, Warragul, and Wonthaggi-Inverloch. With the addition of the new zones, NBN said it has 295 zones that cover 860,000 businesses around the country. The Victorian funds will also be used to flip users on fibre to the node, fixed wireless, and satellite connectivity to full fibre lines. The company will part with money from its AU$300 million regional co-investment fund and the AU$50 million set aside for working with local and state governments on extending business fibre zones to help fund projects to be determined between NBN and Victoria. “When we made a substantial commitment to network upgrades towards the end of last year, we also announced that this would include significant funding to be made available for co-investment opportunities with state and territory governments and local councils,” NBN CEO Stephen Rue said. “The Victorian government has been the first to seize this opportunity, and the program we have announced today fits perfectly with the Victorian government’s overall AU$550 million Connecting Victoria program.”

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