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NBN and LEDC partner up to improve infrastructure in 'underserved' areas of Australia

13 Jan 2021

Australian data centre connectivity company Leading Edge Data Centres (LEDC) has entered into the Wholesale Broadband Agreement with NBN for Facilities Access Service, with an aim to improve the ‘digital experience’ in rural and underserved areas of Australia.

LEDC will now have the opportunity to build infrastructure for NBN's retail service providers (RSPs) to connect to LEDC data centres across the country.

LEDC will first see measures implemented across 14 LEDC locations in New South Wales, with later roll-outs in Victoria and Queensland.

The agreement will also help bolster LEDC’s strategy to accelerate connectivity to other digital infrastructure in the regions, with a goal to decrease local businesses’ reliance on backhaul networks, reach higher bandwidth and improve download speeds.

“At present, every digital transaction that happens in Regional Australia must go back and forth to the data centres all located in the major Metro cities on the backhaul networks,” says LEDC CEO Chris Thorpe.

“This creates a bottleneck scenario, slowing things down, and compromising the digital experience for regional Australians.

“NBN facilities access will reduce the backhaul bottleneck. We’re already building data centres across the regions bringing the opportunity for content and service providers to deliver services locally. 

“With NBN opening up that last mile with the local connectivity piece, the entire digital experience – everything from home internet usage to workplace data exchange – will be improved. 

“Content download speed will be faster, and latency will be reduced. This will help to begin levelling the playing field from a digital infrastructure point of view.”

Thorpe says LEDC will further aim to improve bandwidth and download speeds by establishing dark fibre builds directly into NBN's POIs.

The Data Centres will provide network hub points across the region offering greater choice of network providers and helping to establish greater competition.

“COVID-19 has laid the groundwork for mass regional migration and we think that better broadband connectivity might provide that tipping point,” Thorpe continues. 

“This will have positive flow-on effects for regional economies and help ease over-population in major cities.”

LEDC’s expect their efforts to catalyse the trend towards Internet of Things (IoT) deployment and the enablement of 5G.

“IoT is driving change in industries such as healthcare, agriculture, construction, logistics, and forestry,” says Thorpe. 

“But its ubiquity in regional areas has been limited by unreliable broadband connection, which can interrupt data exchange and collection.

“By opening up connectivity in regional locations, the alliance could make wider spread IoT usage a viable reality, with significant benefits to these industries and the broader economy.”

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