Fibre provider, Nextgen Networks, has completed the last component of the Federal Government’s $250 million Regional Backbone Blackspots Program (RBBP) in the Northern Territory.
The Darwin, Emerald and Longreach fibre link joins other routes already in service under the RBBP and establishes more than 6000 kilometres of fibre optic infrastructure. The network connects more than 100 regional locations and also serves as a foundation for the National Broadband Network (NBN).
Nextgen managing director, Phil Sykes, said in a statement that 163,000 people can now connect with other parts of the network enjoying the benefits of high-speed broadband in Western Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia.
The new link connects more than 3800 kilometres in locations ranging from Darwin in the Northern Territory to Toowoomba in Queensland. Nextgen’s optical fibre cable rollout in Queensland was delayed in January this year due to the cable being severed by flooding in the state.
“Households and businesses in these towns and cities are acutely aware what it means to be deprived of competitive telecommunications infrastructure,” Sykes said. “Investment in this fibre is underwriting more competitive services and greater choice.”
Chief minister, Paul Henderson, said in a statement that work will begin next year on allowing the first 20,000 homes in the Northern Territory to be connected to the fibre optic backbone link. “It builds on our key target under the Territory 2030 strategic plan to grow the Territory’s economy, and improving our telecommunications network is a big part of this,” he said.
Henderson added that Nextgen’s optic fibre connection to Alice Springs in the Northern Territory was already seeing several new internet service providers (ISPs) delivering broadband services including Internode, the first alternative ADSL2+ service to those offered by Telstra.
In June, Nextgen unveiled a wholesale product suite for ISPs of all types to access the National Broadband Network (NBN).
The suite, ‘NBN Connect’, is aimed at both small and large ISPs and combines the company's national fibre network and its points of presence (PoP) in a number of Australia’s data centres with direct connection to NBN Co’s fibre, wireless and satellite access.
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