Mid West fibre link goes live

11/03/2011 - 11:42

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Nextgen Networks has completed a 426-kilometre fibre optic cable link from Perth to Geraldton, built as part of the $250 million National Broadband Network Regional Backbone Blackspots Program.

Nextgen Networks has completed a 426-kilometre fibre optic cable link from Perth to Geraldton, built as part of the $250 million National Broadband Network Regional Backbone Blackspots Program.

Federal Minister for Broadband Communications and the Digital Economy, Stephen Conroy, officially opened the network today, which is estimated to benefit some 35,000 Mid West residences and businesses.

Internet service providers Westnet and Nextep are the first ISP's to deliver services on the new network.

Nextgen managing director Phil Sykes said the RBBP network would provide new opportunities for ISPs to compete in regional markets with an expanded portfolio of services.

The fibre link was completed on time and on budget, Mr Sykes said.

"Our success in addressing the Australian Government's vision for solving the communications 'blackspots' issues further reinforces Nextgen's track record as a safe pair of hands in delivering mission-critical communications infrastructure and services," he said.

"In connecting the Mid West with other major population centres across Australia through the high-capacity Nextgen network, we look forward to further collaboration with wholesale customers, governments and the community to ensure the region is an active participant in the NBN future."

Westnet chief executive Michael Malone said the company was eager to be the first to deliver the benefits of the new fibre-optic link.

"Westnet was founded here in Geraldton 17 years ago, so we're thrilled to provide locals with access to the next generation of superfast, competitive broadband plans with award winning customer service for the first time," Mr Malone said.

Labor Senator for Western Australia, Louise Pratt, joined Senator Conroy to mark the completion of work in Geraldton today and said the new fibre optic link would strengthen Australia's bid to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope.

"The SKA will be one of the largest international science projects of the 21st century, with its primary purpose to advance discovery-based science in the fields of astronomy and astrophysics," Senator Pratt said.

"The main SKA site will be located at Murchison Observatory, 315km north east of Geraldton."

"The CSIRO is currently constructing a fibre optic link between the Murchison Observatory and Geraldton and the new Perth to Geraldton link will provide an affordable, high capacity link that can be used to transmit large volumes of scientific data for processing."

Civil engineering on the route was undertaken by Visionstream and Ngarda Alliance.

 

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