"Agile Topples Broadband Barrier"
1 Oct 2003
Internet age carrier Agile Communications has toppled the population barrier by delivering broadband Internet access to a 900-person town in South Australia.
The Adelaide-based company this week switched on broadband services for Meningie - the gateway town for SA's beautiful Coorong region - delivering DSL-based Internet access in a rural area that is considered uneconomic by larger carriers.
The Meningie broadband rollout is the latest success for Agile Communications, which in May 2001 launched the Coorong Project, a $1.3 million Networking The Nation initiative that has changed the face of telecommunications in the Coorong. Agile's combination of Internet Protocol networking and fibre optic-capacity wireless communications, has slashed the cost of phone calls in the region. Agile Communication's partner in the project, the Coorong District Council estimates the network has saved the council alone more than $30,000 a year in reduced call and data charges.
Agile Communications managing director Simon Hackett said the Meningie broadband rollout was just the start of the company's plans in rural and remote areas. "The telecommunications industry has largely forgotten regional Australia because of its low population density," he said.
"Agile Communications has combined world-leading equipment with the experience and expertise it has gained from the Coorong Project to dramatically lower the bar in terms of the number of people to which we can deliver broadband services economically."
Agile estimates that its breakthrough technology can cost-effectively deliver broadband Internet access to communities that Telstra regards as too small to supply. The Meningie rollout demonstrates its commercial ability to deliver broadband services.
Agile's first broadband customer in Meningie, Kym Cleggett, who is the Coordinator of Information Services for the Coorong District Council, said the future of regional communities revolved around broadband access to information, services and even shopping. "When you live in rural and remote areas, the Internet is your window to the world," he said.
"Most people in these areas have heard the hype about broadband, but it's not coming to a house near you at anytime soon. It seems that if you have a population of less than 20,000 people in a regional area, you don't get taken seriously by any of the big carriers.
"Broadband is essential to providing opportunities for business, whether that's local doctors or companies that need to communicate with their suppliers. In some cases, it may be the difference between a business starting up or staying here.
"Having a company like Agile, who are technically very good at what they do and interested in the IP world, makes a lot of difference. It has provided the infrastructure for broadband in areas that would otherwise not receive it. After all, unless you build a nice highway, you will never have flash cars driving along it."
How do Meningie Residents and Businesses get connected to Broadband?
About Agile Communications
Agile Communications, www.agile.com.au , the wholesale partner of national ISP Internode, was the first South Australian-based company to gain a national telecommunications licence, granted in May 1998. Using Internet Protocol-based technology the carrier achieves price-performance points unavailable through traditional carrier networks.
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© Agile Pty. Ltd. 2004