SA government to expand ‘Gig City’ program

Possible regional expansion mooted

The South Australian government has upped its funding for Adelaide’s ‘Gig City’ program.

The state’s budget, handed down today, includes $2.9 million over four years, including $1.6 million in 2017-18, for the expansion of the Gig City network. The funding is in addition to $4.7 million over four years allocated in last year’s budget.

The project is based on SABRENet: The South Australian Broadband Research & Education Network, a network owned by the government and the state’s universities.

The network was established in 2007 and includes 160 sites and 200 kilometres of fibre.

Under the Gig City project, the network is being made available to businesses in Adelaide, with gigabit speeds — and potentially 10Gbps speeds — on offer.

The government said that the additional funding allocated in the 2017-18 would extend the network to additional precincts and co-working spaces.

The state government also said it would also explore the possibility of a regional expansion of the program to Mount Gambier and Whyalla.

“Having access to ultra-fast internet will drive significant economic development and job creation opportunities, and will position South Australia as a leading centre for innovation and entrepreneurship,” budget documents state.

The program is separate from Adelaide Council’s Ten Gigabit City plan.

The city council’s 2016-2020 strategy plan, adopted in 2016, committed it to working with partners to roll out a 10Gbps fibre network to premises in the city and North Adelaide.

The council has said the network is expected to complement the National Broadband Network and the state government’s Gig City program. An expression of interest process for the project was held earlier this year.

According to the council, staff are currently finalising the business case for the project.

 

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