Basslink begins commercial service on fibre-optic link

6 Jul 2009

Australia’s Basslink Telecoms has announced that, having completed tests of its undersea fibre-optic cable link between Tasmania and the Australian mainland last week, it has carried the first commercial traffic on the infrastructure, itNews reports. The fibre-link is the first connecting Hobart and Victoria not owned by incumbent Telstra, and Basslink has said it is confident that it will offer competitive backhaul prices. In response to the commercial launch consumer action group Digital Tasmania said it expects that ‘reduced backhaul costs will enable more companies to deliver improved and more varied internet services in Tasmania’. The consumer group also used the occasion to call on the government to fund a second independent link between the mainland and Tasmania, claiming that despite Basslink’s launch, Telstra’s wholesale option remained uncompetitive. Andrew Connor, spokesman for Digital Tasmania, said: ‘You can (use Basslink and) buy redundancy from Telstra but it still costs a lot to buy even a small amount of back-up capacity from the incumbent. We believe access to a second independent cable would deliver larger savings.’