RealTime IT News

Remote Australia On Connection Agenda

From Australia.internet.com

Australia's largest independent Internet Service Provider, OzEmail recently added the remote South Astralian opal mining community of Coober Pedy to its nationwide network, as part of a program to deliver more reliable Internet services for geographically isolated areas of Australia.

"It is in places like Coober Pedy that the Internet provides such a valuable education and communication tool," said David Spence, OzEmail president and chief operating officer. Coober Pedy's point-of-presence (POP) will provide local call Internet access to around 3000 people in what is one of the remotest areas of Australia.

"The Coober Pedy POP also provides Internet telephony, bringing reduced cost long distance and international phone calls to the outback," said Spence.

The POP is a joint project of the Spencer Region Development Association, OzEmail and the Coober Pedy community as part of the 'Spencer Access Network,' aimed at demonstrating that remote Australia can obtain modern communication technology at the same cost as a metropolitan dweller.

OzEmail's POPs will be installed with a minimum 56K speed access, and from this residents "in a 10 to 12 kilometre radius of a POP should be able to get reasonably high speed" connections, said OzEmail vice president of corporate relations Michael Ward.

In total, 21 POPs are required to fully service the Spencer Region of South Australia. The Coober Pedy POP is the first of nine POPs funded as part of the initial program by the Rural Telecommunication Infrastructure Fund (RTIF) from the Federal Government.

On the back of these POPs, OzEmail said it has plans for a satellite service that should deliver faster Internet connection speeds to rural Australians. Further in the future, it is looking to an 'outback modem' with an increased speed handshake that maintains a high speed connection throughout the user's stay on the Internet without dropping out.