SABRENet to accelerate e-research in SA

Thursday, 17 November 2005

SABRENet Ltd today announced it has awarded telecommunications company Amcom (ASX:AMM) the contract to build and maintain the multimillion-dollar South Australian Broadband Research and Education Network.

Amcom will commence construction of the 92km, 10 gigabit fibre optic network immediately.

The Federal Minister for Education, Science and Training Dr Brendan Nelson has approved $6.55 million for the project, positioning South Australia as the first state to extend the Australian Research and Education Network (AREN) to all major research sites, campuses, teaching hospitals and technology precincts.

State Minister for Science and Information Economy Ms Karlene Maywald welcomed today's announcement. "SABRENet is a major investment in this State's future capacity to innovate and to compete in the global marketplace for ideas, skills and know-how," she said.

Professor Chris Marlin, Chair of the SA Consortium for Information Technology and Telecommunications, said that today's announcement is the result of nearly three years of intensive collaboration between the University of Adelaide, the University of South Australia, Flinders University, the State Government and the Defence, Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO). SABRENet has also been supported by the State Government's Broadband Development Fund.

Major SABRENet routes will extend from the Adelaide CBD and reach north to Roseworthy, south to Flinders, east to Magill and west to Woodville. The Adelaide Innovation Constellation precincts of Waite, Thebarton, Mawson, Flinders and Florey, identified in the State Government's STI10 Science vision, will all be linked by the network.

SABRENet will cut the time to transfer a terabyte of data to just 17 minutes, compared to about three months using business broadband. Up till this year such large datasets, saved to portable hard disks, have been transported by plane or taxi between research institutions here and overseas.

The new network won't just transport huge amounts of information at lightning speeds, it will enable supercomputer real-time simulations, multi-screen, high-definition videoconferencing, redundant storage and disaster recovery of massive amounts of data, and will allow South Australian researchers to participate in bandwidth-enabled experiments around the globe.

SABRENet complements the State's growing supercomputing capacity, which is managed by the SA Partnership for Advanced Computing (SAPAC), a joint venture of the State's three universities.
Minister Maywald said that a future goal will be to link SABRENet to TAFEs, schools and new entrants to the State's growing Research & Education sector.

SABRENet's interim Chair Paul Sherlock said that the network will be constructed over the next 12 months, and will come on line progressively as stages are completed.

"SABRENet Ltd will own and manage the network on behalf of our members and for the benefit of the entire Research & Education sector in South Australia," he said.

SABRENet Ltd (ACN 115 957 090) is a non-profit company formed in September 2005 by the University of Adelaide, the University of South Australia, Flinders University and the South Australian Government.


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