PowerTel and Boeing to unveil mega-pipe

PowerTel and Boeing to unveil mega-pipe

Queensland communications set to fly thanks to alliance In a boost for regional broadband services, telecommunications provider PowerTel, together with communications and aeronautics company Boeing, launched its Pacific Innovation Corridor (PIC) on the Gold Coast last week.

The PIC provides a broadband communications network between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, giving businesses in the region access to significant increases in broadband Internet and intranet connectivity.

The Boeing/PowerTel alliance also took the opportunity to announce the signing of its first major customer, Gold Coast-based pay TV network provider Austar United Communications.

Under the terms of the agreement with Austar, PowerTel is set to house the pay TV company's high-end routers on its Gold Coast premises.

The 140km fibre optic infrastructure provides a link from the Gold Coast to the Brisbane communications grid, which in turn allows for faster connection to other major centres within Australia and around the world.

PowerTel CEO Stephen Butler likened the improvement in connectivity to the difference between a garden hose and a high-pressure natural gas line.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for commercial growth on the Gold Coast," Butler said. "We hope the infrastructure will attract business investment from all over the world because of the quality of the data links."

The PIC also enables increased international interconnectivity through the Southern Cross Cable and PowerTel's US parent company Williams Communications' global infrastructure.

Butler said at this stage there were no plans to lay out PIC type infrastructure in other regional centres. However, he described the project as a prototype which had far-reaching implications for the development of communications infrastructure in regional areas.

More widely known for its aeronautics, Boeing has provided the technological infrastructure for the PIC through its Brisbane-based enterprise operations centre (EOC).

Boeing's foray into the networking arena stems from a background working in the defence arena. More recently, the company has become involved in providing highly secure enterprise network integration.

The company's involvement in the PIC project includes software development, applications development, systems integration, business systems development and information and knowledge management.

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