ACT trials high speed TransAct network

The Australian Capital Territory Electricity and Water Corporation (ACTEW) will this week complete connecting 200 homes to its trial high-speed multimedia network.

Known as TransAct, the network is designed to provide Canberra with high-speed broadband links to the home and will be rolled out across Canberra following a three-month trial beginning after Easter.

Newbridge Networks is supplying core infrastructure for the network, including the Seimens/Newbridge MainStreetXpress 36170 Multiservices switch and the Newbridge Carrier Switched Routing solution.

According to Harri Jokinen, TransAct's project architect, ACTEW selected Newbridge for the project above other networking specialists Cisco, Nortel and Xylan. He said the Newbridge solution best suited ACTEW's requirements for scalable and flexible infrastructure.

Once completely rolled out, the network will span 90,000 homes in and around Canberra, Jokinen said.

A pilot network currently runs to 800 homes in the Canberra suburb of Aranda, with a limited number of 200 homes taking part in a technical trial over the coming months.

According to Robin Erkermann, TransAct project manager, the network will carry voice, video, and data services to Canberra homes in what has been described as "one of the world's first fibre-to-the curb deployments".

"The concept is that a neutral network owner like ACTEW deploys the network and then throws it open to the widest array of service providers, and importantly doesn't compete with those service providers," Erkenmann said.

"We would like to see multiple Pay TV companies offering Pay TV over the network. We'd like to see many Internet service providers and many different people inventing new services for the network."

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