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Mainland NBN pilot gets 12 retailers on board

ISPs flock to Oz fast net trials

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In what must be a welcome break from a week of bad news, NBN Co has announced 12 retailers that have signed on to its mainland pilots.

The providers – AAPT, AARNet, Comscentre, Exetel, iiNet, Internode, iPrimus, Nextgen Networks, Optus, Platform Networks, SkyMesh and Telstra – include some unexpected names.

AARNet, for example, is Australia’s academic research network, with a 10 Gbps network connecting Australian universities. Its CEO, Chris Hancock, told Computerworld its participation in the trial would involve giving students access to their campuses over the NBN from home.

At this stage, the AARNet trial would cover Armidale (the University of New England) and Townsville (James Cook University), both of which have students living in areas to be covered by the NBN.

Another possible surprise is Exetel. While a participant in the Tasmanian trials, Exetel’s boss John Linton is a trenchant critic of the network, having described it as a "load of crap".

SkyMesh is better known as a wireless specialist, but has broadened its product offerings in recent years to include various kinds of fixed services.

NBN Co has claimed a high success rate in Armidale, saying that 90 per cent of householders in the trial area have opted to take a connection. ®

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