Conroy visits Nextgen's backhaul hub: pics

Conroy visits Nextgen's backhaul hub: pics

Summary: Fibre-optic backbone specialist Nextgen Networks has installed over 8000km of its own fibre across Australia, but its current role as prime contractor for the government's 6000km Regional Backbone Blackspots Program (RBBP) has given it a high profile in the National Broadband Network (NBN) roll-out, especially now that the provider has reached its halfway point.


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  • (Credit: David Braue/ZDNet Australia)

    "We've already signed pre-committed RBBP sales contracts with some of Australia's largest ISPs [internet service providers]," McGrath said.

    "The ISPs are out there and jumping on board; they're keen to not only support this initiative, but they can see that it's structured commercially to make sense for them, and they're looking to move into a number of regional areas and offer services... We offer these services on an open access, wholesale-only basis and we set pricing that is extremely competitive in the market — and lower than any pricing that has been seen in these areas before."

  • (Credit: David Braue/ZDNet Australia)

    Stephen Conroy was noticeably chuffed at the network's smooth roll-out to date. "This demonstrates that the Gillard Government is getting on with delivering the National Broadband Network for all Australians, no matter where they live," he said.

    "In previous generations the delivery of rail and telegraph heralded a new era in connectedness for regional and remote Australians. In the 21st century the delivery of optical fibre backbone links heralds an opportunity to close the digital divide once and for all... The RBBP is delivering the first building blocks of the NBN on mainland Australia."

  • (Credit: David Braue/ZDNet Australia)

    McGrath was full of praise for the workers involved in the RBBP, noting that despite over 500,000 man-hours worked to date, the project has not had a single Lost Time Incident.

    "That's quite an amazing achievement," he said. "Many people are working in isolated and dangerous locations, and we have protocols in place and do things like have a start-of-day meeting everyday so work scope is clear and any issues are identified early on."

Topics: Broadband, Government AU, NBN


Australia’s first-world economy relies on first-rate IT and telecommunications innovation. David Braue, an award-winning IT journalist and former Macworld editor, covers its challenges, successes and lessons learned as it uses ICT to assert its leadership in the developing Asia-Pacific region – and strengthen its reputation on the world stage.

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  • So according to your picture they are only laying 48 fibre cable and with the size comparison it is not even high strength.