Rural areas to get broadband boost

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Rural areas to get broadband boost

AUSTAR, Soul and Unwired have formed AUSalliance, an organisation that would seek funding under the Federal government’s $1.1 billion program (Connect Australia) to build an alternative broadband network.

AUSTAR, Soul and Unwired have formed AUSalliance, an organisation that would seek funding under the Federal government’s $1.1 billion program (Connect Australia) to build an alternative broadband network.

John Porter, CEO at AUSTAR, said AUSalliance was formed to develop a coordinated business plan and a joint bid for Connect Australia funding based on this plan.

“We developed a national business plan and formed an initial proposal for the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts (DCITA) to consider,” said Porter.

Under AUSalliance each company would build, own and operate their networks and businesses separately. However each of the companies would use DSL2+ and fibre based solutions that can be deployed throughout regional Australia.

ASX-listed, regional subscription television provider, AUSTAR and ASX-listed wireless broadband carrier, Unwired’s spectrum licenses covered 95 per cent of the population, enabling them to rollout wireless broadband networks.

Soul, an ASX-listed IP telco also has a regional access network which combines converged voice, video and data network with 280 points of presence as well as capital city capabilities.

Under the AUSalliance banner, AUSTAR plans to focus $50 million in investment on a WiMAX based broadband network in 25 regional areas by the end of 2007.

Soul plans to continue to expand its national broadband network with the deployment of back haul and access networks in regional and capital markets.

Unwired aims to cover at least 45 percent of the Australian population by 2008 with a WiMAX based broadband network.

AUSTAR and Unwired are also building WiMAX compliant networks to allow roaming between their networks.
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