The NSW government on Saturday switched on
the core of its
new broadband network in a move it said would "close the
digital divide" between country and metropolitan areas of the
NSW Premier Morris Iemma switched on the network at Dubbo Base
Hospital while visiting the city for the NSW Australian Labor
Party country conference.
"For the first time, real competition will be delivered to the
rural broadband market -- lowering prices and improving the
quality for business, families and communities," he said.
The government expected to spend over $200 million over the
next five years to deliver services to agencies in rural and
regional areas, according to Iemma.
Data speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second will be available at
major sites, according to the government. This will help provide
services such as video-conferencing for courts, real-time data
for emergency services, and distance education.
The service covers a range of rural areas including Bega,
Grafton and Taree, as well as well-populated centres such as
Gosford, Newcastle, Parramatta, Sydney, and Wollongong.
Contractor Soul, formerly Soul Pattinson Telecommunications,
will switch on fibre-optic and microwave connections around the
state over the coming month.