ISP Smart Radio Systems is establishing an optic fibre-based communications network in Cooma, NSW, which could make it the envy of larger companies and bigger cities.
Adrian Blake from Smart Radio Systems said there were about 3000 businesses and residences in Cooma. "So if we can get half of them we will be happy." However, Blake is optimistic the company will manage to sign up more, partly due to the support of locals for businesses in the area.
Blake said the network would help existing businesses because the area would have "communication facilities as good or better than most cities anywhere else in the world". He envisages this may attract other businesses to set up in Cooma.
The network is possible because Australian Gaslight (AGL) and Great Southern Energy (GSE) are reticulating natural gas in Cooma, so the telecommunications duct is being installed at the same time. Work started on the project in December and is due to be completed in April 2001, at which time locals will have access to a 100Mbps connection.
"We had discussions with AGL to look at the possibility of putting conduit in the ground while they were putting their natural gas pipes in," Blake said.
The connection will allow Smart Radio Systems' customers to access currently available voice and data services such as pay TV, Internet, and videoconferencing. "On top of that are all the services you and I can't think of yet. And that's very real and quite important," Blake said.
According to Blake, when it gets to the stage of laying cables the company will be employing more people and aims to use locals and "get them trained in the techniques". Currently it has three staff.