Adelaide seeks expressions of interest for 10Gbps fibre network rollout

Adelaide has put out the call for infrastructure, services, and connectivity providers for the construction of its 10Gbps fibre broadband network, and will also roll out smart parking and upgrade its free Wi-Fi network in 2017.

The City of Adelaide has put out a call for expressions of interest (EOI) for its Ten Gigabit City Project, calling for providers of infrastructure, connectivity, and services to make submissions in regards to the planned fibre-optic network that will facilitate speeds of up to 10Gbps across the city.

The four tiers of services to be provided are: Physical infrastructure, including the ducts, pits, fibre-optic and metallic cables, wireless infrastructure, and data transmission equipment on the cables; connections and network management, including the encoding and controlling of data; setting up, coordinating, and terminating connection sessions from end to end; and applications, content services, and cloud services.

"Organisations are invited to respond and propose how they would participate in some or many elements of an overall business model which spans physical infrastructure, such as ducts and optical fibres, through to delivering modern business tools and applications such as 'pay-as-you-use' services from multiple services providers," the EOI documents say.

Adelaide Lord Mayor Martin Haese said the infrastructure project is key to the city's hopes of attracting companies, residents, and students by becoming Australia's "City of Entrepreneurs".

"I've said from day one that this is essential infrastructure for investment attraction and growth that will transform the competitiveness of the city," Haese said on Wednesday.

"This can be the solution for attracting head offices to Adelaide and helping to create jobs, innovation, and investment from across the globe.

"The City of Adelaide is dedicated to having the fastest, most reliable, secure, and flexible data transfer in the nation, if not the world ... this infrastructure will attract new businesses, in new growth industries, and support the growth of existing businesses in a city seeking transformational growth in 21st century jobs and increases in export income."

Expressions of interest are due by February 7, with a progress update due in March or April this year.

As part of its smart city strategic plan, Adelaide is also aiming to implement smart parking technology across the city and North Adelaide during 2017; upgrade and expand its free Wi-Fi network by June 2017; have all council forms available to submit online by 2018; have all development applications able to submit online by 2020; create a national centre for applied research and education into the digital economy; and increase the amount of open council data that's accessible to the public.

Adelaide also attached a feasibility report on its 10Gbps project, with de Brenni Executive Consulting Services saying that the project is feasible but in its very early stages, and as such needs further clarification -- including through the EOI announced on Wednesday.

The South Australian government said in June last year that it would be setting aside more than AU$4 million in its state budget to use an existing fibre-optic network jointly owned by the state government and universities in order to provide up to 10Gbps broadband network for Adelaide businesses.

The government said that such a network would provide speeds that are around 10 times faster than those available to premises in Adelaide on the federal government's National Broadband Network (NBN).

The EOI documents released on Wednesday called the NBN a "complementary project", simply saying that "council will continue to liaise and work closely with NBN Co in support of the NBN rollout across the city".

Staying ahead of the technological curve, Adelaide was the first Australian capital city to launch a free Wi-Fi network back in early 2014, after announcing in November 2012 that iiNet would provide coverage across the CBD with 200 Cisco access points.

The South Australian capital is also home to Australia's first driverless car trial, which was completed on Adelaide's Southern Expressway in partnership with national independent road research agency ARRB Group in November 2015.

The government's trial made use of two Volvo XC90 vehicles that successfully demonstrated adaptive cruise control, automatic lane keeping, and active queue assist.

In October last year, Telstra also completed a successful trial of vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technology over its 4G network in South Australia in partnership with Cohda Wireless and the South Australia Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure.

South Australian Transport and Infrastructure Minister Stephen Mullighan said that the state will be a "key player" in the vehicle connectivity industry, after having approved driverless car trials in March 2016.

"By leading efforts to accommodate driverless and autonomous technologies on SA roads, we are pursuing the safety, productivity, and mobility benefits of these technologies, as well as new opportunities for our businesses and our economy," Mullighan said in October.

"Last year, we hosted the first on-road trials of autonomous vehicles in the Southern Hemisphere and this year we became the first Australian jurisdiction to legislate to allow further on-road trials.

"Our government is striving to create an environment which nurtures companies developing autonomous technologies, including Telstra and Cohda Wireless, and this exciting initiative demonstrates the progress South Australia is making to take a share of this projected $90 billion industry."

Companies are permitted in South Australia to trial autonomous vehicles by simply submitting their plans and insurance information to the government.

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