WA SuperNet, the not-for-profit organisation working to deliver a digital backhaul telecommunications network, today enters a new phase focused on securing funding and the continued planning for the project’s regional rollout.
The group has spent the past three years working with government, community, industry, commercial telecommunications operators and technical experts on a digital connectivity solution for the Western Australian Grainbelt and now has a shovel ready project.
WA SuperNet’s project aims to deliver 4,700km of fibre optic cable in the State’s railway easements, at a one-off cost of $160M delivering an alternative, open-access telecommunications network.
The project has completed detailed market analysis, detailed design, commercial structuring and stakeholder consultation. It will now focus on securing private sector commitment by running a commercial process with the telecommunications industry and engagement with Infrastructure WA, in relation to the Infrastructure WA Discussion Paper, and with Infrastructure Australia.
WA SuperNet Chairman, Tim Shanahan, who led the team through this initial phase of work, explained the change in project focus and structure for this next phase.
“Through the market analysis, commercial modelling and technical design work completed to date, it has become clear that an alternative backhaul network in regional WA will enable genuine competition and improvement in the delivery of voice services and digital connectivity in the bush,” said Mr Shanahan.
“We believe that fibre optic cable is the solution and is a proven technology that will future proof the Grainbelt of Western Australia and WA SuperNet has gathered significant support for this solution,” said Mr Shanahan.
“I would like to thank all those involved in the project and the team at Arc Infrastructure who have been passionate and committed partners for the past three years and who will now lead the next phase of the project,” he said.
Arc Infrastructure CEO Murray Cook, has been a WA SuperNet board member and an active participant in the development of the project.
“Arc Infrastructure has submitted the WA SuperNet Grainbelt Digital Enhancement Project as part of Infrastructure WA’s Discussion Paper consultation process. We are fully supportive of the focus on regional digital connectivity in IWA’s Discussion Paper and look forward to supporting the development of the 20-year State Infrastructure Strategy,” said Mr Cook.
“This month we will commence a commercial engagement process with major telecommunication operators to identify shared opportunities to develop new fibre backhaul infrastructure in the rail easements,” said Mr Cook.
“We sincerely thank Mr Shanahan and the regional and rural team of passionate advocates who have been working incredibly hard on the WA SuperNet project and we look forward to their continued engagement as we progress towards delivering this network,” said Mr Cook.
Arc have also committed to a $10M capital contribution toward project delivery.
For further information about WA SuperNet please visit the brand new website
About Arc Infrastructure
Arc Infrastructure is the long term lease holder of the State’s rail freight network spanning 5,500km across of southern half of WA.
As the manager of critical State infrastructure that underpins the critical agricultural sector of Western Australia, Arc Infrastructure became involved in the WA SuperNet proposal when the opportunity of leveraging the rail easements became obvious.
Head of Stakeholder Engagement
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