AUSAlliance seeks funds to build broadband network

Austar, Soul and Unwired Friday announced the formation of AUSalliance, which they established to build an affordable, alternative, broadband network.

The alliance is seeking funding under the federal government's A$1.1 billion (US$850 million) Connect Australia program with members claiming its proposal is unique because its scale is national and the technology includes wireless, DSL2+ and fiber-based solutions suited to regional Australia.

The alliance will develop a coordinated business plan as part of its bid for funding while each company continues to build, own and operate its own networks and businesses separately.

Officials say Austar and Unwired's spectrum licences cover 95 percent of the population, enabling them to rollout low-cost, high-speed wireless broadband networks, while Soul has the largest independent regional access network.

It is a fully converged voice, video and data network with 280 points of presence as well as a capital city capability.

Austar CEO John Porter said the alliance can combine existing scale, scope and expertise to deliver the most cost-effective solution for Australia.