Austar wireless to use Soul backhaul

Pay-TV and Internet service provider Austar will use telco Soul's rural Internet Protocol network as the backbone of its planned new rural wireless network. In October Austar laid out plans to offer wireless broadband to around 750,000 people in regional Australia by the end of 2007, based on the same technology that wireless carrier Unwired is using for its Sydney and Melbourne networks.

Pay-TV and Internet service provider Austar will use telco Soul's rural Internet Protocol network as the backbone of its planned new rural wireless network.

In October Austar laid out plans to offer wireless broadband to around 750,000 people in regional Australia by the end of 2007, based on the same technology that wireless carrier Unwired is using for its Sydney and Melbourne networks.

"Soul's extensive Internet Protocol (IP) based data and voice network will provide Austar with the necessary backhaul, switching services and Internet connectivity for its planned WiMAX-based broadband wireless network," Austar said today in a statement sent to the Australian Stock Exchange.

Austar CEO John Porter
Austar CEO John Porter

Austar chief executive John Porter said Austar was already using Soul's network to provide dial-up Internet services. Soul Chairman Rob Millner noted his organisation would investigate opportunities to provide Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) packages over the Austar service.

Porter also said Austar looked forward to continuing discussions with the government over access to funds under the AU$878 million Broadband Connect program, which aims to subsidise the development of broadband in regional Australia.

The government recently announced it was considering making some of the funds available en-masse to industry consortiums building rural broadband networks.

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