The Victorian government has selected Ericsson and AAPT to build broadband communications network for hospitals in Western Victoria.
The $4 million project falls under the Victorian government's Vic One contract and is expected to be completed by February 2000.
Officials said 50 per cent of the network will be in place by the end of this year.
Fifteen hospitals of the South West Alliance of Rural Hospitals (SWARH) will connect to the network, which will allow the deployment of low-cost videoconferencing and telemedia applications betweeen hospitals, as well as low cost internet access and voice calls to Melbourne.
According to officials, the hospitals will interconnect to the network via broadband, digital wireless transmission links.