HOMES and businesses across the south-west will soon have the option of connecting to high-speed internet comparable to the National Broadband Network, thanks to a new commercial partnership announced yesterday.
Local internet service providers Aussie Broadband and Nextgen Group have been contracted to provide high-speed internet across the region using the $10 million fibre optic cable laid along the Melbourne to Warrnambool rail line.
Aussie Broadband managing director Phillip Britt said his company would deliver homes download speeds of 24 megabits per second on DSL connections and 12 megabits per second on a wireless connection.
Businesses can expect speeds of 100 megabits per second, which Mr Britt said was comparable to NBN fibre speeds.
He said the company would also invest in new infrastructure in Terang and Colac to deliver new high-speed services to those areas.
“We haven’t really had a presence in Colac until now, so we plan on using the increased capacity delivered via the new fibre cable to build a new ADSL network in the town,” Mr Britt told The Standard.
“We also plan on building a new wireless network in Terang, which will deliver speeds of 25 megabits per seconds, which is NBN wireless-type speeds.
“This fibre cable has allowed us to increase our capacity for business and residential customers. The cable means we don’t have to rely on other telcos to bring data into the area.
“It breaks up the monopoly and brings more competition into the area.”
Mr Britt said pricing for the new high-speed services would be comparable to those in metropolitan areas.
“The prices will be as good, if not better, than what those in metro areas pay for comparable services,” he said.
NextGen Group will primarily use the fibre link to market wholesale services to other retail telecommunications service providers, including mobile carriers.
Premier and member for South West Coast Denis Napthine made the announcement at Deakin University’s Warrnambool campus, where he witnessed first hand the high speeds the new link can deliver.
Dr Napthine was joined by Deakin vice-chancellor Jane den Hollander and member for Wannon Dan Tehan at the official launch of the roll-out yesterday.
Professor den Hollander said the new fibre network meant Warrnambool was no longer constrained by its geographic location and now enjoyed speeds more than 100 times faster than its previous connection.
“We are delighted to be one of the first users. We are thrilled to see the broader community benefit from it and we thank the Victorian government for their strong commitment to regional education and growth,” she said.