23/04/2009 - 14:46

Fix broadband link for SKA project

23/04/2009 - 14:46

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Science and Innovation Minister Troy Buswell has urged the federal government to upgrade the broadband link between Perth and Geraldton to enhance the state's chances of winning the $2.5 billion Square Kilometre Array project.

Fix broadband link for SKA project

Science and Innovation Minister Troy Buswell has urged the federal government to upgrade the broadband link between Perth and Geraldton to enhance the state's chances of winning the $2.5 billion Square Kilometre Array project.

The call comes as the federal government finalises plans for its $43 billion, eight-year roll out of the national broadband network.

As part of the roll out, $250 million has been set aside to upgrade various broadband or 'backhaul' black-spots in regional Australia.

"There are issues with broadband coverage in WA, especially in the regions. We must ensure our State isn't last on the list," Mr Buswell said.

"The backhaul black-spot between Perth and Geraldton should be the first project the Federal Government funds in WA. Improving carrier competition and providing higher quality service along the Perth to Geraldton fibre optic link would be a good start to addressing some of the communications challenges faced by people in the regions.

"Improving the Perth to Geraldton link would also significantly enhance WA's bid to host the $2.5billion Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio-astronomy project.

 

The announcement is below:

 

Securing an urgent upgrade to the backhaul link between Perth and Geraldton would be the priority for the Liberal-National Government in its negotiations with the Commonwealth regarding the roll-out of the $43billion National Broadband Network (NBN).

Under the Federal Government's latest proposal for a national broadband network, $250million would be made available to address backhaul black-spots in regional Australia.

Science and Innovation Minister Troy Buswell said he had asked Federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy to make the upgrade of the communications corridor between Perth and Geraldton the first funding priority for Western Australia.

"There are issues with broadband coverage in WA, especially in the regions. We must ensure our State isn't last on the list," Mr Buswell said.

"The backhaul black-spot between Perth and Geraldton should be the first project the Federal Government funds in WA. Improving carrier competition and providing higher quality service along the Perth to Geraldton fibre optic link would be a good start to addressing some of the communications challenges faced by people in the regions.

"Improving the Perth to Geraldton link would also significantly enhance WA's bid to host the $2.5billion Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio-astronomy project.

"WA's Murchison is one of just two sites in the world shortlisted to host this exciting and innovative project.

"This work would significantly boost our bid. The upgrade would also mean that the Perth to Geraldton fibre optic link could handle the demands of both the SKA project as well as general telecommunications users."

The SKA radio-astronomy project involves building a revolutionary next-generation radio telescope up to 100 more times sensitive than present day instruments and able to collect data from an area of one million square kilometres.

The Minister said the State Government was continuing talks with the Federal Government on further details of the National Broadband Network.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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