SA govt wants carrier independent broadband for new estate

A greenfield site in South Australia is edging towards becoming the location du jour for Australia's most innovative broadband services.

Expressions of Interest (EOI) in developing and implementing "innovative" broadband services within the nearly-developed Seaford Meadows, a proposed 131 hectare development site near the South Australian suburb of Onkaparinga, terminates on May 12, 2006.

Work is slated to commence this July. According to the EOI released by the South Australian government, the project's objective is to ensure the Seaford Meadows development offer residents modern telecommunication services, including broadband. Customers are to have a choice of broadband providers, as well as access to broadband services equal to or better than what is on offer in metropolitan Adelaide, in terms of both price and performance.

While wireless infrastructure will be considered as part of the service delivery, the tender requires infrastructure to provide the broadband service, further infrastructure provision may include metallic or optical fibre cable in ducts in common service trenches, backhaul connection and the ability to support voice over Internet protocol applications.

Adrian de Brenni, managing director of ICT consultancy de Brenni Associates, is the ICT consultant for the EOI. De Brenni said the important factor in the EOI is that it will offer residents broadband services from multiple providers.

"The key to the project is it will involve solutions that build on the cooperation between the council, developers and possible infrastructure and service providers," de Brenni said.

"Cabling can include copper or optical fibre, but the important factor will be the provision for all residents to access broadband services, but more importantly from multiple providers."

Seaford Meadows will feature mostly residential homes, as well as a retirement village and nursing home, primary schools, offices, shops and cafes, eventually growing to a community of more than 4000 people.

The community will be subdivided into 1890 allotments over six stages. The first stage of the development, 217 allotments, will be approved in June 2006. For more information go to www.tenders.sa.gov.au

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Michael Crawford

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