Nextgen Networks has distributed fibre-optic cable to half of the regional areas identified by the government as backhaul blackspots since construction efforts began in March.
(Credit: Nextgen Networks)
Nextgen Networks was selected to complete the $250 million roll-out of 6000km of fibre backhaul as part of the government's Regional Backbone Blackspots Program. The backhaul roll-out will, when completed, reach 400,000 people in under-served areas across regional and rural Australia.
The fibre will enable a gamut of telecommunications services in under-served areas and will form the second-largest national long-haul fibre network in the country.
Shortened routes to Geraldton in Western Australia, Victor Harbor in South Australia and South West Gippsland in Victoria will be completed by March.
Longer routes to Emerald and Longreach in Queensland, Darwin in the Northern Territory, Broken Hill in New South Wales, the Riverland in South Australia and the Riverina in Victoria will be ready by September. More than 1000 people are working on the backhaul deployment.
Nextgen Networks managing director Phil Sykes said the backbone network forms the "building blocks" of the Federal Government's National Broadband Network.
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy welcomed the halfway point of the project.
"The lack of competitive backbone infrastructure is one of the biggest obstacles for fast affordable broadband in regional areas," he said. "Once this program is complete, other broadband providers will be able to enter the market and offer faster broadband speeds, cheaper prices and more choice for people and businesses across regional Australia."