According to a joint Optus and Elders statement, the companies have signed a memorandum of understanding and will bid for a cut of the A$878 million (US$670 million) federal government funding under the Broadband Connect initiative.
If successful, the pair will mutually invest in, and share network infrastructure for the provision of high bandwidth services.
However, once infrastructure is laid, the two companies will continue to compete against each other in the retail space.
Further to the agreement, Elders will resell Optus wholesale services, including dial-up, broadband, satellite and long-distance and mobile calls.
Perhaps little known in the city - except for its real estate agency network - Elders, a subsidiary of Futuris Corporation, is a rural provider that deals in the sale and supply of farm inputs, agency services in wool, livestock and real estate, financial services including banking (Elders Rural Bank) and insurance (Elders Insurance). It also has an ISP.