Adam Internet calls for wider NBN fibre net

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Adam Internet calls for wider NBN fibre net

Adam Internet has put a case forward to the Federal Government to fast-track broadband infrastructure rollout to towns on South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula.

Managing director Scott Hicks said the peninsula, which covers coastal and farming towns like Victor Harbour and Kingscote, sits outside the proposed fibre-to-the-premise NBN coverage area.

Even if WiMAX or other wireless broadband technologies were to be rolled out to the area, it could still be "possibly six or seven years [before they] get anything that will make a difference".

"There's a lot of smaller towns with populations less than 2,000, but there's still a big need for broadband there," Hicks said.

"At the moment services are reasonably limited to what Telstra can provide. And when the only option [for backhaul] is Telstra, once you're out of metro areas the backhaul solution Telstra provides is just not viable."

Hicks said Adam Internet wouldn't participate directly in the backhaul blackspot fast-track but had provided advice on the peninsula's situation to the Government.

He said the backhaul issues weren't limited just to that area.

"We'd love to rollout fibre to exchanges and put in our own DSLAMs in the Adelaide Hills but with Telstra backhaul it's just not viable," Hicks said.

Adam's business continues to grow strongly regardless. It is signing in the vicinity of 1,800 customers per month "solely by word-of-mouth", launched a 3G broadband product three weeks ago that uses the Optus network, and has recently moved to peak/offpeak usage for ADSL2+ which Hicks said "effectively doubled [customers'] usage quota for the same dollar".

Hicks said the 3G service already 500 customers sign on in the first two weeks of its ‘soft launch' and he said Adam was "expecting some pretty good numbers" to sign on once it is launched properly.

"This is a proper layer 2 service all the way back to the Adam data centre; it's not just a resold layer 3 service," Hicks said.

Hicks said the ISP was also "in talks with a number of [content platform] players" - Fetch TV among them - in a bid to secure content streams that it can provide customers in an on-demand, unmetered fashion to ADSL2+ customers.

Censorship concerns

When asked whether the ISP would participate in any public or private trials of internet filtering, Hicks said Adam "hadn't been part of any trials and hadn't been asked to".

He said that content control in any event should be given over to an independent body - not an ISP - and that the tools were no substitute for parents monitoring the internet usage of their children.

"I'm very concerned about the potential for internet providers to become content editors," Hicks said.

The ISP has recently had to deal with the issue first-hand, after a court case revealed a website with anti-semitic content was being hosted by Adam Internet.

Hicks said Adam had not received any direct correspondence from law enforcement agencies to take the pages down.

"If I was told it was in breach of a law I'd be happy to take it down, but if we take it upon ourselves to take it down then we effectively become liable for the content on every web site we host. I'd have to sit down and read every bit of material on our servers to determine if it was ‘acceptable'.

"Apart from not having the staff to do that, I'm not there to decide whether what someone has on their web page is right or wrong, I'm just there to provide the service.

"If responsibility for checking what people have on their websites fell to Adam, then I guarantee we'd stop selling websites that day. It would just be too risky a business for us."

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