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Monday, December 05, 2005

Broadband Trial Moves to Burnie

Broadband Trial Moves to Burnie - Bryan Green, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Aurora Energy?s ground-breaking trial of broadband computer connections over powerlines has been extended to Burnie, which will become the first regional centre in Australia to experience the technology.


Energy Minister Bryan Green says the project, which is set to make Tasmania an international leader in telecommunications, will be trialled in two areas of Burnie over the next few months.


?This development is only possible because of the innovative decision by the Burnie City Council, to install optical fibre in the city.?


The Burnie areas selected for the trial are:

� Singline Estate, and

� the Malonga Drive to Taroona Avenue area, with connecting streets between TAFE and Shorewell.


The announcement follows the start of a trial in the Hobart suburbs of Tolmans Hill and Mt Nelson in September.


The development work is being conducted by Aurora Energy, in partnership with major international company Mitsubishi Electric, and supported by Aurora?s telecommunications subsidiary TasTel.


Mr Green said the trial was being extended to a regional centre so that both customer response and technical issues could be assessed in a different operating environment.


?By clever use of Aurora wires that already connect virtually every building in Tasmania, Aurora is creating the potential to dramatically accelerate high-speed broadband access for businesses and households.


?And it can be achieved without the need to dig up gardens or driveways.?


Mr Green met senior Mitsubishi executives in Japan earlier this year and said he was extremely impressed with both the company and the technology.


If the commercial trial succeeds, Aurora?s 250,000 customers will have access to extremely competitive broadband and telephone services via a modem plugged into virtually any household power point.


?Aurora may well be the first company in the world to deploy this equipment to the public on a commercial basis.


?The beneficiaries, assuming this commercial trial is successful, will be the families and businesses of Tasmania.?


Mr Green said it was encouraging that an international corporation like Mitsubishi Electric, and national communications companies engin and Datafast, were happy to work as partners with Aurora and Tasmania.


?What we are seeing today meshes perfectly with the TasCOLT venture, announced by the Government earlier this year, and the other communications initiatives of the Tasmanian Government including the north-south optic fibre cable.


?This holds out the real possibility that the technology will bring broadband to the masses.?


The technology to be used in Burnie comes from Mitsubishi Electric?s Japan headquarters and is based on access speed of computer components that have only just been released to the market.


?Burnie residents who choose to participate in the extension of the trial will be customers of Aurora?s telecommunications subsidiary TasTel, and will enjoy the standard of communications which the Government has been working towards over the past three years.


?This reinforces the integrated approach Aurora has taken since its establishment in 1998, to build new capability based on its core network and retail businesses,? Mr Green said.

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