Arc Infrastructure have this week reaffirmed their commitment to the WA SuperNet project, a planned enterprise-grade, affordable broadband service along 4000km of WA’s grain railway line.
Arc Infrastructure, which manages the freight rail network on behalf of the state government, are on the WA SuperNet steering committee alongside CBH group, with whom their three years long arbitration was settled this week.
“Arc Infrastructure thank CBH for their support toward the (SuperNet) project to date,” Arc Infrastructure executive director Murray Cook said in a press release earlier this week.
“We will continue to work with WA Supernet, Innovation Central Midlands and both State and Federal Governments on this exciting project.”
The project is slated for completion within three years and involves 4000km of optic fibre, buried within the easements of the regional rail network. Forty-metre towers will be constructed at 100 CBH receival bins. Where there is no rail, radio deployment could be used on towers on CBH sites.
“Arc has invested over $500,000 into the project to date and expects to spend a similar amount during this next phase of technical studies over the coming months,” Murray said this week.
Tim Shanahan, who chairs WA SuperNet, in 2018 said that WA SuperNet is likely be structured as a not-for-profit, non-distributing co-operative, enabling the service to be delivered at competitive rates.
He said it was hoped the service could, where possible, dovetail with existing wholesale and retail providers, including the NBN.
Access to competitive, enterprise-grade broadband services continue to be one of the single biggest issues restricting operations in WA’s grain-growing businesses.
According to a 2016 KPMG report, Infrastructure for Smart Farming, high-speed digital connectivity will deliver a $1.2 billion return to the WA industry by helping agribusinesses to be globally competitive.