Regional Australian Telstra partner Calibre One has inked a $1 million deal in partnership with AirBridge Networks to link a number of sites across three islands in the Gulf of Carpentaria.
The rollout will deliver internet speeds of up to 1Gbps to the communities of the Anindilyakwa Land Council (ALC), with the body representing the Indigenous Anindilyakwa people, who own and protect the islands in the Groote Archipelago.
The rollout will extend to 20 sites across the region, transforming many areas that previously had no connectivity whatsoever.
The project was initiated by the ALC in October 2017, requesting cost-effective connectivity for four specific sites following the establishment of new cultural centres, in which traditional owner historical and genealogy information is kept and showcased.
During the initial planning stage, a $4.5 million fibre network was considered, however, it was deemed unviable due to significant earthworks required, drawn-out timeframes and the difficulty in extending the network to other islands or sites as the community grows.
Calibre One and AirBridge collaborated to combine fibre and wireless and deliver connectivity to the 20 sites on a network costing just shy of $1 million. In addition to the underlying network infrastructure, switching, firewalling and wi-fi will be enabled at all sites.
From little-to-no connectivity, the ALC is now able to take advantage of modern technological network capabilities, including cloud computing and associated applications. The council is in the process of establishing a private dedicated cloud environment using Cisco Blade and ASA firewalling technology. The platform will support disaster recovery of the islands’ infrastructure, specifically its culturally significant content.
Discussions are being held for a stage 2 infrastructure rollout, which would include unified communications and video conferencing.
Anindilyakwa Land Council chief executive Mark Hewitt said the network would deliver a critical service to the area, and represented a significant investment in the future of the communities established there
“We are excited to be taking this action now, as we expect that this infrastructure will support the work and culture of traditional owners for years to come.”
Calibre One chief financial officer Darren Gore said the coming together of AirBridge and the MSP had paved a way forward for reliable connectivity in regional Australia.
“This collaboration will bring more options and improved connectivity also to our regional customers in South Australia and Northern Territory and the growing base in far north Queensland through a combination of wireless connectivity and fibre,” he said.
“We see the ALC opportunity as a validation of that decision and are extremely excited about how this partnership will provide enhanced opportunities for the people of the islands."