WA throws in AU$1bn for broadband network

WA throws in AU$1bn for broadband network

Summary: update The Western Australia state government will pool the next 10 years of its annual AU$100 million telecommunications spend into a billion dollar contract to build a state-wide broadband network. Announcing the deal in a statement issued today, WA Premier Alan Carpenter said a competitive tender process for the contract would be undertaken early in 2007.

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update The Western Australia state government will pool the next 10 years of its annual AU$100 million telecommunications spend into a billion dollar contract to build a state-wide broadband network.

Announcing the deal in a statement issued today, WA Premier Alan Carpenter said a competitive tender process for the contract would be undertaken early in 2007.

"The successful tenderer will be required to build a broadband network that will provide access to all Western Australians and industry," Carpenter said in the statement.

The network is expected to provide speeds of 10Mbps in its initial stages -- and not just in metropolitan areas.

"Communities such as those at Kununurra in the far North, the outer Perth metropolitan suburb of Kalamunda, or the wheat belt community of Kukerin, will be expected to have the same access to this new privately-owned, purpose-built broadband network as those in the city," said Carpenter.

In the same statement, WA science and innovation minister Francis Logan said the strategy was based on a similar model implemented in Alberta, Canada.

"The Alberta state government has demonstrated that it is possible for a provincial government to facilitate the creation of market conditions which result in a more competitive broadband sector that delivers faster speeds, lower prices and increased penetration of services," he said.

On the project's Web site, the government states wholesale access will be provided to the network by retail Internet service providers and telcos, through numerous points of presence. The retail providers themselves will provide the so-called "last-mile access" to end users.

"This would provide a degree of wholesale and retail separation that facilitates head to head competition for non-government end users," the site says. "For government, however, the solution will need to be end to end."

The Web site also states that the WA government will go to market in 2007 for "a total telecommunications solution, including mobile services, fixed data, voice and video services through a competitive tender process".

Further details about the proposed network are available from the project's Web site.

Carpenter's announcement comes as NSW Premier Morris Iemma today announced key areas of Sydney and outlying cities in the state would get free Wi-Fi access within the next three years.

Topics: Broadband, Government AU, NBN

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9 comments
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  • WA Fibre Optic network

    Great news and it will be very welcome for those communities that are currently ignored by our "national telco". However, my real fear is that Telstra might actually bid on the contract - and that will be a disaster of the greatest magnitude. If they ever finished the project (why should they - it's competition to them?), it will be grossly over priced, and underutilised. C'mon WA, make sure that Telstra is kept a country mile from this!
    anonymous
  • Yup, too right.

    I live in Kardinya, in the middle of Perth, and the lines here are so bad that I can only get about 900kb/s out of the possible 8meg connection that I have.
    Having explored every possibility (and confronting Telstra about it), Telstra finally conceded that the lines here are poor and "possibly can't carry a high bandwidth" or such.

    So, I am 100% favour of anyone BUT Telstra taking on something like this.

    Besides the fact I am thinking about moving back to the 'bush' makes this all the more exciting!

    Pleeeease Mr Carpenter, do us proud!
    anonymous
  • I get a great service... just 2 suburbs across

    I am in Bateman, 2 or so suburbs across, and I get 18.5mb out of a possible 24mb connection.
    anonymous
  • Try all of your phone points

    I could only seem to get about 500Kb/s from my service, even after doing all the usual unplugging of all other phones etc. However, I tried a different phone point for my modem and wham! I now get 7MBit! So check all your phone points, some might be dodgy.
    anonymous
  • Sounds like good speed to me

    Far as I am aware an 8 megabit connection has a theoretical limit of 1024 kilobytes a second so if you are getting 900 kilobytes a second you are doing pretty well. The rest of us poor schmucks are stuck with a maximum 1.5 megabit connection (192 kilobytes a second) until Telstra stops playing the spoilt child and opens up their network to its full potential.
    anonymous
  • Been there, done that...

    I don't get 900kb/sec downloading, that's the downstream speed in the WAN Port stats of my modem. I get max 60-70kb/sec actual download speed.

    And yes, I tried all the ports in the house, with no better luck. Thanks for the tip though.
    I contemplated getting an ADSL2 modem and seeing if I can make use of the 24k connection that I actually have available, but honestly think it'd be a waste of money.

    Our phone line is 'dirty' too, slight static etc, even when there's no modem connected.

    In general, just really crappy service, and no matter the requests, it hasn't changed in 5 years.

    So yeah, when it comes to Telstra doing *anything* to benefit the home consumer, I'm a complete "I'll believe it when I see it" home-owner.
    anonymous
  • You're Complaining???

    I live in Yalgoo. I have the fastest landline connection available here. 128kbps (16k download speed). Our exchange is connected to fibre optic cable but Tel$tra won't install ADSL equipment in the exchange. Oh, and the Tel$tra supplied modem won't work with Linux...
    anonymous
  • you shouldnt have internet

    Hey Bill,

    We all know what you ve been downloading, you are the epitamy of what is wrong with the internet. Do they have the internet in jail ?
    anonymous
  • Well looks like we all got tricked on that one

    Gee whiz Billy , you had us all fooled there mate , we just thought you were a woolly woofter but it looks like your one who likes to have a crack at the young fellas. Your mum would be ashamed bill, no hang on she proble wouldnt . I feel sorry for that poor dog you used to have ralph or whatever his name was. Say gday to bubba when you get into your cell ok mate.

    Glen Evans
    anonymous