Mainland Australia’s regional broadband traffic will be carried over Alcatel-Lucent’s optical fibre network as part of a $250 million initiative to link blackspot areas to major centres.
The links will connect six priority blackspots and another 102 competitive backbone access points across each state, which will be built over the next 18 months.
Nextgen Networks won the Regional Backbone Blackspots Program tender in December last year and will use Alcatel-Lucent’s infrastructure, including its longhaul dense wave division multiplexing platform, photonic service switches and transport service switches.
Under the deal Nextgen Networks will provide 6000km of fibre optic broadband to six locations: Emerald and Longreach, Queensland; Geraldton, Western Australia; Darwin, Northern Territory; Broken Hill, New South Wales; Victor Harbor, South Australia; and South West Gippsland, Victoria.
See more about the regional blackspots rollout in our slidehow .
Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, said the backbone will directly benefit more than 395,000 people in 100 regional locations and ensure high-speed broadband is expanded to all homes, schools and workplaces.
Alcatel-Lucent Australia managing director, Andrew Butterworth, said the links will provide blackspot areas with new broadband and mobile services.
“We have the technology ready and all the right people in place to get started straight away on this deployment, which is a great step forward for the government’s wider National Broadband Network (NBN),” Butterworth said.
“[The] network will easily scale to meet the dramatically increasing backhaul capacity demands that we anticipate the NBN to drive over the next eight years and beyond.”
A world-first wavelength tracker will be used to improve traffic monitoring and fault management within the optical network. Alcatel-Lucent will also deploy a new multi-service transport platform that supports any mix of traffic from all-circuit to all packet, along with its 1626 Light Manager and 1830 Photonic Service Switch.
Alcatel-Lucent will undertake support from its global network operations centre in Sydney.