Backhaul provider Nextgen Networks and networking technology company Alcatel-Lucent have demonstrated a 100 gigabits per second (Gbps) service to MPs who travelled out to Broken Hill to take part in the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the National Broadband Network (NBN).
Michael Ackland, strategic development manager for Nextgen and Rob Oakeshott at the Broken Hill exchange.
As part of the inquiry, parliamentarians on the committee chaired by Independent MP Rob Oakeshott today examined the progress of the government's $250 million Regional Backbone Blackspots Program (RBBP). Nextgen was picked in 2009 to roll-out 6000km of fibre to areas in Geraldton, Western Australia; Darwin, Northern Territory; Emerald and Longreach, Queensland; Broken Hill, New South Wales; Victor Harbor, South Australia; and South West Gippsland, Victoria. The links are said to pass approximately 100 regional towns.
Alcatel-Lucent and Nextgen Networks used the opportunity to demonstrate a 100Gbps service on the 1150km Broken Hill route from Gawler in South Australia to Shepparton in Victoria. According to Phil Sykes, managing director of Nextgen, the 100Gbps test was the first of its kind in regional Australia.
"[It] demonstrates that communities serviced by high capacity backbone infrastructure are set to benefit from Australia's emerging NBN environment," he said in a statement.
Sykes said such backhaul infrastructure would be vital for satellite earth stations in Broken Hill.
"The technology system that we're demonstrating on this leg of the RBBP is capable of 44x 100Gbps services or 4.4 terabits of capacity, which is a significant increase on what currently exists and future proofs the network," he said.
The inquiry, made up of Liberal, Labor, Greens and Independent parliamentarians, today heard from regional organisations, councils and groups such as Ninti One, the Royal Flying Doctors Service, Broken Hill City Council and the Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation.
"The committee will be following up some particular technical questions raised by indigenous enterprise provider Ninti One and Mr Michael Wilson. Both have some technical concerns and are also concerned that NBN Co is not maximising opportunities available to engage rural and remote Australia as best as they could. We will be pursuing these matters to clarify this," Oakeshott said in a statement.
Tomorrow the inquiry heads to Melbourne to hear from the Post Office Agents Association, Capgemini and Australia Online.