In 2020, it might just turn out that the city with the fastest internet in Australia is Adelaide. The city recently put out a tender for expressions of interest for international partners to collaborate on building a fibre network capable of 10Gbps transfer rates, 100 times faster than the current capability of the best possible NBN fibre hook-up. It wants to start and complete the project within the next three years.
Adelaide. Who would have thought it?
The EOI, spotted by Computerworld, follows on from a business case presented halfway through last year where the council laid down its plans to invest in a network that would allow data-reliant businesses and company head offices to situate themselves in the South Australian capital city while remaining connected to the rest of the world.
Adelaide is Australia's fifth most populous city with just over 1.3 million residents, the lion's share of the 1.7 million Australians living around South Australia. It's previously been ranked Australia's most livable city three times since 2010 by the Property council of Australia, and four times in the top 10 of The Economist's most livable cities list in the same time period. And the council has some serious aspirations for its 'net: “The City of Adelaide is dedicated to having the fastest, most reliable, secure and flexible data transfer in the nation... if not the world."
The council owns the pits and ducts around the city, and this is a big part of the cost of rolling out new fibre across a CBD-sized area. The South Australian state government has its own Gig City initiative, and the public rollout of infrastructure for the NBN continues in the state as well. Importantly, the fibre NBN will still provide the backbone for telcos to offer end users service around the city, but Adelaide's own simultaneously-constructed network would give government, businesses and users with the need for ultra-low latency and ultra-high bandwidth requirements direct access to interstate and international data centres and servers.
Here's Adelaide's lord mayor talking to ABC local radio about the 10Gbps plan: