Nextgen Networks has announced it has completed the fibre backhaul link between Perth and Geraldton, which is part of the Federal Government's $250 million Regional Backbone Blackspots Program (RBBP).
(Credit: Nextgen Networks)
The official launch was held in Geraldton this morning with Communications Minister Stephen Conroy.
The 426km link, which will service 35,000 residents in Western Australia, is live for Nextgen customers iiNet and NEC wholesale subsidiary Nextep. The project began in May 2010 and was completed on time and on budget, according to Nextgen's managing director Phil Sykes.
"We believe that the RBBP network offers an historic opportunity for service providers to compete in regional markets with an expanded portfolio of services, offering more choice and value to end users," Sykes said in a statement.
Nextep said in a statement that it had installed DSLAMs in four exchanges in Geraldton, and was ready to serve the entire area of Geraldton.
The backhaul link enables Geraldton to be hooked up to the National Broadband Network (NBN) as a second release site and allows the city to host an NBN Co point of interconnect.
The completion of the backhaul link will also strengthen Australia's bid to host the Square Kilometre Array telescope as the CSIRO was constructing a main site for the array at the Murchison Observatory outside of Geraldton, Labor Senator Louise Pratt said.
"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," she said in a statement.