Adelaide councils tackle broadband blackspots

Adelaide councils tackle broadband blackspots

Summary: Two of Adelaide's largest councils have identified significant unmet demand for broadband services in their regions and are attempting to work with the telecommunications industry to solve the problem.The Cities of Onkaparinga and Marion collectively represent almost a quarter of a million residents occupying some 114,000 both business and residential premises.

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TOPICS: Broadband, Telcos, NBN
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Two of Adelaide's largest councils have identified significant unmet demand for broadband services in their regions and are attempting to work with the telecommunications industry to solve the problem.

The Cities of Onkaparinga and Marion collectively represent almost a quarter of a million residents occupying some 114,000 both business and residential premises.

But according to research conducted by the pair and the federal Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts (DCITA) and released in tender documents issued today, about 17 percent of those premises may lie in so-called broadband "blackspots" which cannot access minimum speeds of 256kbit/s.

"During interviews and sample surveys ... it was found that approximately one-third of businesses have a broadband service, one-third want one but cannot get it, and one-third don't want a service yet and haven't tried to get one," the documents added.

"Significant levels of unmet demand were identified and with no current plans from telcos/Internet Service Providers to provide services in the areas where broadband services are not available for a variety of reasons."

The issue is a concern for the councils as research has consistently linked high levels of broadband penetration with significant economic benefits.

The two councils are currently seeking to work with the telecommunications industry to match unmet and latent demand with potential suppliers. The tender document mentions potential access to government funding in some areas, for example drawing on the federal government's AU$1.1 billion Connect Australia package.

But the pair indicated they were not interested in building infrastructure or providing services themselves.

However, they noted they regularly reviewed their own corporate purchasing needs with respect to telecommunications services, and invited telcos to indicate what services they could provide.

The move follows a similar initiative in late July, where some 15 of the state's regional local councils banded together to address broadband blackspots.

The group -- dubbed the Central Local Government Region of SA (CLGR) -- collectively covers a large portion of rural South Australia, from the Barossa and Clare valleys through to the Flinders Ranges and the Yorke Peninsula.

Are you stuck in a broadband blackspot? Drop me a line at renai.lemay@zdnet.com.au or post some comments below.

Topics: Broadband, Telcos, NBN

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6 comments
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  • Yep, I'm in an Adelaide Balckspot...

    Hehehe, and in my case it really hurts. Begin rant...

    I was on ADSL for six years before we bought our first home on the outskirts of a southern suburb of Adelaide known as Hackham. What really stung is finding out my line runs to an exchange over 7kms away, when there is another exchange (on our road!) only 2kms away. When I initially tried to get a new line to the closer exchange I was told it wouldn't happen because the lines stop running from that exchange approximately 8 houses away from ours. I guess if I had got the other 8 households invovled it might have gotten Telstra into action, but there are a lot more than 9 houses affected by the blackspot in this area. Now I'm just waiting to see what happens. It looks as if Telstra will be relying on their new HSDPA 3G wireless service to fill in the gaps... I doubt this will be a value for money service however, but it will be the only solution for us still come 2007. Australia's telecommunications growth seems very slow, and while everyone else praises the ACCC for taking action to stop certain actions by Telstra, I think sometimes they are also helping to stifle the growth. Oh well, I just wait now. Makes my part time web designing a real pain on dial-up though.

    End rant.
    anonymous
  • Blame Telstra, its as simple as that, everyone relies on them.

    We can blame Telstra for a lot of the blackspots. I'm on a "RIM" which Telstra refuse to upgrade. I was hoping for Chariot to make their wireless coverage in my area (Marion Shopping Centre) but they never got around to doing it (or went broke first). Then again I've been at it for years now, and getting no where, see my webpage at http://www.da011.uni.cc/
    anonymous
  • A semi black spot

    I'm a new resident in Northgate, SA and have struggled to get connected to the internet for a number of weeks. I am aware that other households within the neighbourhood has access to the internet as they have taken up a port. For new residents moving to this new development area, most if not all ports are already taken, therefore no ports are available. I have contacted Telstra countless times and have tried to get a spare port but have been knocked back again and again with, "I'm sorry but you have to wait for someone in your area to move houses to free up their port". That is not highly likely to happen any time soon and in the meantime, I am left with no internet which has been frustrating as a lot of my online activities have screeched to a halt, and with me working in the multimedia industry, it's not making life any easier. We are now in 2008 and I am still unable to get access to the internet. Telstra, please help!
    anonymous
  • No Excuse for Adelaide blackspots

    I find the continuing presence of internet blackspots in and around Adelaide unbelievable in this day and age. I've just returned from seven months overseas, including four months on the small Greek island of Ikaria (use Google maps to locate it). This island - like most other Greek islands - has had broadband for several years. I simply cannot believe that so many areas around Adelaide cannot be connected to broadband for any other reason than Telstra can't be bothered. The government should demand or legislate to ensure this happens if the company wont do so.
    anonymous
  • broadband blackspot

    I live at Port Noarlunga, adelaide and I do uni online. I tried to get broadband but was told it not available in my area, which is ridiculous because I live only one block from christies beach and someone I know lives there and they have it. Dial-up is so slow, so now I have wireless broadband which is my only option.
    anonymous
  • 1 road from available broadband

    Port noarlunga is half kilometre from christies beach and there they have broadband access. But not here!!!! I feel as if I live in a third world suburb. I have had to get wireless broadband instead which is way more expensive- like $100 per month for only 10 gb, but I have no choice as I need the faster speed for my online uiversity that I do.
    anonymous