Uni to Benefit from High-Speed Network Funding

Monday, 12 January 2004

The University of Adelaide is to benefit from a $3.8 million injection from the Australian Research and Education Network Advisory Committee (ARENAC) toward the developing of a high-speed network within the Adelaide metropolitan area.

The South Australian Consortium for Information Technology and Telecommunications (SACITT), the University of Adelaide in collaboration with the South Australian Government, the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), are all beneficiaries of this bid.

The network will overcome areas of deficiency with respect to broadband services for South Australian research and education purposes.

Specifically the new network will address:

  • The lack of high-speed bandwidth between higher education and research sites within metropolitan Adelaide,
  • The relatively low bandwidth connection linking South Australian researchers with other Australian and international research networks, and
  • The existing charging regime that inhibits the transfer of large research datasets.

"The funding will allow the establishment of a North-South optic fibre network. The network, which incorporates the North Terrace-Waite link, will complete the interconnection of three major University of Adelaide campuses, including all teaching hospitals with the exception of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital," Vice-Chancellor Professor James McWha said.

He added the inclusion of DSTO and CSIRO in the consortium would allow the bandwidth needs of nationally significant research activities located within South Australia to be met.

"The metropolitan backbone has been designed to provide significant future scope for easy connection of designated precincts catering for the advanced technology manufacturing, bioscience and digital media industries. This provision enhances the environment for increased collaboration across research sectors," Professor McWha said.

In addition, the South Australian Government has agreed to make $1.4 million available to the project with the primary purpose of ensuring connection of the network to the national research network in an affordable manner that meets the needs of high-capacity research users, such as the South Australian Partnership for Advanced Computing (SAPAC), for a minimum of three years.

"The university has also attracted $2 million from a Capital Development Project application. The application by the University of Adelaide, included the University of South Australia as an associate organization," Professor McWha said.

The funding will be used to build an Adelaide East-West high-speed communication network that will provide interconnection with the recently approved South Australian Research and Educational Network (SAREN) North-South fibre backbone.

Together, the networks will enable all South Australian Universities to connect to their non-SAREN connected campuses and facilities.

"For us, the East-West network will allow interconnection with Thebarton, the National Wine Centre as well as the Queen Elizabeth Teaching Hospital," Professor McWha said.


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