Australian company Comindico has launched Australia's first wholesale national Internet protocol network for data, voice and broadband.
The network, which cost more than $150 million to build, consists of 66 points of presence, 53 of which are located in regional areas.
The network is built as a hierarchy of three tiers with links between key network centres in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. Tier two connects Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, Wollongong, Newcastle, Southport, Maroochydore, Geelong and Hobart, while tier three provides links to 54 other regional centres.
Comindico said the network will enable businesses to extend their geographic reach, opening up regional Australia to the same standard of telecommunications services available in capital cities.
The company said the IP-based network is designed for data and is capable of supporting carrier-grade voice services, as well as a range of broadband and multimedia applications.
Steve Demetriou, chief executive officer of Comindico, said: "The network will fundamentally change the face of telecommunications this decade. Since deregulation in 1997, and unbundling of the local loop in 2000, there has been increased demand for high-speed data services, faster Internet access and better quality services to regional Australia."
The company has invested more than $75 million in an international link to the US, initially using a 155Mbps capacity connection through the Southern Cross cable link, which is due to grow to 1.2Gbps by early next year.