South Australian consortium wins $9 million

South Australian consortium wins $9 million

Adelaide-based consortium mNet has bagged $9.23 million in Federal Government investment to support the construction of a wireless Internet network, in the run up to the World Congress on Information Technology 2002 (WCIT2002) to be hosted in Adelaide.

The money is part of the Commonwealth Advanced Networks Program designed to ramp up the implementation of broadband infrastructure in Australia. According to mNet spokesperson and business consultant Bruce Lin, the project will allow participants to leverage the experience and expertise of industry partners, such as Telstra, in order to roll out wireless and broadband applications.

Established in the run up to the bid, the mNet consortium includes incubators, academic institutions, and private sector companies, and was provided with ample support from the South Australian State Government to pitch the initial tender. Members of the mNet Corporation include Adelaide University, Agile, DSpace, Playford Centre, Telstra Corporation, City of Adelaide, and the University of SA, along with a dozen other participating members.

In the initial phase of its operations, mNet is charged with creating and implementing an advanced network in Adelaide's North Terrace precinct before the WCIT2002.

"Initially we will be focussed on conference applications driven by the World Congress opportunity," Lin said. "It represents a major opportunity to develop applications for a rapidly growing industry and showcase our developments to the world."

According to Lin, the mNet tender also outlines the development of a series of wireless applications associated with transport, medical industries, and education.

"Basically we are looking at developing the next stage of wireless technology," Lin said. "While much of the backbone for the technology will be coming out of Europe and the US, we are looking at developing the applications that will allow Australian businesses to use wireless broadband to its full potential."

Lin also said the South Australian Government played a crucial role in the establishment of mNet and its ability to tender for the Commonwealth Government grant.

"The South Australian Government was extremely supportive of mNet providing both personnel and capital to enable the bid to be mounted," Lin said.

Other groups which benefited from the $37 million in Commonwealth Government funding handed out today were the Centre for Networking Technologies for Information Economy (CeNTIE) and GrangeNet.

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