Australian alternative telecoms operators Austar, Unwired and Soul have teamed up to form a joint venture to build an alternative national broadband network. The AUSalliance is looking to secure funding to build an ADSL2+ network under the government’s Connect Australia programme, which was launched in 2005 to encourage companies to supply services in regional, rural and remote areas. AUSalliance has plans to cover around 55% of the population including under-served regional and outer-metro areas. The state has pledged AUD1.1 billion (USD854 million) for Connect Australia, AUD878 million of which has been set aside for high bandwidth services.
Between them, pay-TV provider Austar and wireless broadband operator Unwired possess spectrum licences covering 95% of the population. Austar is building out a WiMAX broadband wireless network to cover 750,000 homes in 25 outlying regions by the end of 2007. Soul – the brand name for the SP Telemedia group companies – owns and operates a fully converged video, voice and data IP-based network with distributed switching throughout regional Australia, proving services to over 500,000 customers.