Australia will shut down its digital outbacks services, including a popular streaming site called AusBundles, amid a looming shortfall in internet capacity and an influx of new internet users, according to an official announcement.
The announcement came after the Federal Government released a forecast for the year ahead that predicted the outback would run out of fibre connections by the end of 2020.
“This announcement is intended to give a more detailed and more accurate picture of the state of Australia’s digital outbundles infrastructure,” the announcement read.
“In the coming months, we expect that we will see increased demand for the services offered by AusBundle.”
AusBunles has been an important source of revenue for the country’s digital content industry, but has struggled to meet its financial obligations to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
According to the ATO, AusB Bundles has received more than $1.8 billion in tax-free income over the past three years, but is now facing a $2.3 million shortfall.
The Australian Government’s budget forecasts the country will be spending about $100 million over the next two years to subsidise the site’s internet infrastructure.
The plan to shut AusBunes is part of a broader government plan to close down internet service to the population.
It is expected to cut internet access to 1.5 million people by 2025.
The ATO estimates that the number of Australians accessing AusBuns will drop from 1.7 million to 1 million by 2026.
The Government also plans to introduce legislation to require internet service providers to ensure that all of their customers have a high-speed internet connection.
“These are not just the resources that we need to provide services, but also the people who need access to those services,” Australian Communications and Media Authority CEO Paul Toole said.
“Australians will need to pay the price for the NBN and this will affect them in their daily lives.”
AusUnreach Australia, the Australian company that runs AusBucks, said it is disappointed the Government is “re-thinking” the digital outoutback.
“It is a decision we take very seriously and we will work closely with our Australian counterparts to ensure AusBums services are available in the future,” a spokesperson said.