An additional 137,000 people have been connected via Nextgen Network's backhaul network, with a 1150km cross-country link opening yesterday.
The Broken Hill Regional Backbone Blackspot Program (RBBP) link stretches 1150km across three states: it travels from Gawler in South Australia, detours up through Broken Hill in New South Wales, then comes back down and follows the Victorian-NSW border to Shepparton. Existing backbone infrastructure connects Gawler to Adelaide. The link is one of five routes that Nextgen Networks was commissioned by the government to roll out.
To date, the shorter Geraldton, South West Gippsland and Victor Harbor links have been completed, with retail service providers already offering services on the Geraldton and Victor Harbor links. The final link between Darwin, Emerald and Longreach is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.
Construction activities were originally scheduled to commence in February 2010, with all infrastructure links completed by August 2011, according to the Nextgen's program description. However, this schedule appears to have been revised, with the final date for completion now December this year.
In late July, Alcatel-Lucent and Nextgen Networks demonstrated that the newly opened Broken Hill link was capable of 100Gbps — the first test of its kind in regional Australia.
The link is capable of 4.4Tb of capacity and will service 30 towns. The entire RBBP project will eventually connect 400,000 people using over 6000km of fibre. Complemented with Nextgen's own network, it will provide fibre connection to every capital city on mainland Australia.