Internode has acknowledged that its latest WiMAX wireless network rolled out to regional areas of South Australia is heavily reliant on the Federal Government’s Australian Broadband Guarantee (ABG) program.
According to Internode product manager, Jim Kellett, without the government subsidy, the network would be much smaller, if rolled out at all.
“It's essential in order to fund the large capital expenditure associated with these networks,” Kellett told Computerworld Australia.
Under the ABG, individuals or businesses in the region without access to ADSL are eligible for a free connection to a Wireless DSL broadband service, which is worth approximately $1200.
The new high speed network, delivering wireless DSL services, will cover the Riverland and Murraylands areas of South Australia, covering Mannum down south to Renmark up north.
In a statement, the ISP said its new regional network would extend the deployment of a fibre-optic network in Berri, with the installation of 28 kilometres of fibre-optic cable in Berri, Murray Bridge and Port Pirie to deliver commercial broadband services for South Australian Government agencies in those towns.
The company is spruiking its broadband coverage at the 2010 Riverland Field Days at Barmera on 15-16 September where staff will be showing the coverage areas and helping people sign up for a subsidised service.
This follows the company’s rollout of WiMAX networks on the Yorke Peninsula, west of Adelaide in late 2007, and the Coorong region east of Adelaide, covering Murray Bridge, Tailem Bend, Meningie, Coonalpyn and Tintinara.
Kellett would not comment on the ISP’s plans for additional WiMAX networks, however confirmed that further networks were possible.
Kellet also added that Internode did not see upstart WiMAX provider vividwireless as a competitor to its expanded network.
"Vividwireless is launching in Perth and has plans to extend its service to other metropolitan centres across Australia," he said. "Internode uses its WiMAX expertise to deliver broadband services in rural areas."