A project testing fibre to the home (FTTH)
broadband technology in Tasmania is finally close to connecting
trial customers, after suffering delays in the last 21 months
since it was first announced.
Dubbed the Tasmanian Collaborative Optical Leading Testbed
(TasCOLT), the trial is a partnership between government and
industry that will see broadband at speeds of up to 100Mbps
provided to 1,000 business and residential addresses in
"TasCOLT is currently in the middle of the network deployment
and this will be completed by December/January," the managing
director of local FTTH specialist CEOS Jonathan Spring told ZDNet
Australia by e-mail today. The company is leading the TasCOLT
"Trial customers will be connected in November/December and
the project is gathering a great momentum," Spring added.
TasCOLT's Web site currently states construction would kick
off in the suburb of New Town, followed by South Hobart and then
The project's progression has been slower than expected, with
the state's then-Minister for Economic Development, Lara Giddings, claiming in
September 2005 that the trial would commence offering services in
late November that year.
However in June, Giddings' successor, Bryan Green, was forced to
admit to organisational delays. To ensure there were no further delays, the state government at that time added an additional AU$350,000 to the
government's existing investment of AU$3 million in the trial.
"The project has been slightly delayed due to the lack of
familiarity that exists in the Australian industry with Corning
Cable System's third-generation optical fibre cable product,"
Green said in a statement on June 27.
Noting the technology had never before been deployed outside
the United States, Green said an education process had been
necessary among prospective contractors for the construction of
"Also, planning approvals, which included the environmental
impact study to support the project, took a bit longer than
expected," he said.
The imminent arrival of the TasCOLT project is just one of
several ongoing FTTH deployments going on around the nation, for
example in new developments such as Fern Bay near Newcastle in
NSW, and Melbourne's Epping North suburb.
Bright Telecommunications also has a FTTH network passing some
30,000 homes in Perth.