Adelaide is aiming to become the first Australian capital to offer businesses up to 10 Gbps broadband speeds following a $4.65 million investment into the state’s existing optical fibre research network.
The SA government is boasting it will become a ‘gig city’, joining in the policy franchise led by Chattanooga, Tennessee, which overhauled its ailing post-industrial economy by rolling out 10 Gbps internet speeds to all residents and businesses.
Chattanooga claims it has created 3000 new jobs (in a population of 173,000) from the investment that has flowed in as a result. The fibre was laid through an unconventional partnership between the city council and the local energy provider.
Now Adelaide is looking to follow in its footsteps and fill the gap left by its own buckling industrial sector, albeit on a more modest scale than its American counterpart.
Next week’s state budget will include $4.65 million to connect the existing SABRENet network co-owned by the state government and universities to private businesses in Tonsley Technology Park, Techport, the Thebarton BioScience Precinct, St Paul’s Creative Centre, the Majoran co-working space, Hub Adelaide, and the Stretton Centre.
Once linked up, businesses in these precincts will be able to access “affordable” 1 Gbps connections, or speeds of up to 10 Gbps if they are willing to invest more into technology upgrades.
"The project is committing to 1 gigabit services, but higher services are feasible by upgrading the equipment at both ends. The difference in costing between 1 gigabit and 10 gigabit services will be part of the project’s consultation with the industry," a spokeswoman told iTnews.
The work is due to begin before the end of this year.
“By building the infrastructure of the future, innovative and high-tech businesses will want toestablish and relocate to Adelaide from around the world to take advantage of the ultra-fast internet speeds,” premier Jay Weatherill said in launching plan today.
“Having access to ultra-fast internet will drive significant economic development and job creation opportunities, and will embed South Australia as a leading centre for innovation and entrepreneurship.”
Only a handful of suburbs in the SA capital are already connected to the federal government's national broadband network. The bulk of the state is set to receive fibre-to-the-node, HFC or fixed wireless NBN connections.