South Australia goes local for gigabit broadband network

EscapeNet to operate GigCity network

South Australian ISP EscapeNet will deliver Adelaide’s ‘GigCity’ network, the state government announced today.

The SA government has pledged to spend $7.6 million on the project, which will make gigabit broadband speeds available to some Adelaide businesses.

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

The network was launched in 2007 and has some 200 kilometres of fibre running to more than 160 sites.

The GigCity project will see SABRENet made available to businesses at a range of innovation precincts and co-working spaces in South Australia’s capital.

The government has said that the first locations to have the service will be Tonsley, Technology Park, Techport, Thebarton BioScience Precinct, St Paul’s Creative Centre, the Majoran Co-working Space, Hub Adelaide, and the Stretton Centre.

The government has indicated it wants to explore the possibility of a regional expansion of the program to Mount Gambier and Whyalla.

Gigabit broadband plans will range in price from $49.90 to $179.90 per month, the SA government said today.

EscapeNet will offer two GigCity plans for micro-businesses: Both plans offer 1/1Gbps speeds, with services based on ‘best efforts’ supply and with a fair use policy. A 200GB per month plan costs $49.90, while an unlimited plan costs $99.90.

The ISP will also offer a $179.90 business plan with a download limit of 1 terabyte (with data top-ups available), with guaranteed bandwidth and business-grade support.

Awarding the contract to operate the service is an important milestone, science and information economy minister Kyam Maher said.

“Key to this program are the affordable and flexible gigabit internet services on offer,” the minister said.

“For the first time, we will see businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs access ultra-fast internet that is cheaper and less restrictive than current available plans on the market, which only offer half the speed.” 

“With assistance from the State Government and SABRENet, our company has created what I think are flexible and affordable plans tailored to suit a variety of business – from small through to multi-national,” said EscapeNet managing director Stavros Patiniotis.

“We will back GigCity services with local support, add-on services and seamless integration with key cloud platforms including Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure to assist startup ventures.”

Adelaide Council is separately working on its own plan for high-speed broadband services in the state’s capital.

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

A business case for the project is being finalised.

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