Adelaide rolling out Australia’s first GigCity

By Melissa Keogh

It’s set to make Adelaide the most connected city in the southern hemisphere, with the promise of affordable, ultra-fast internet speeds.

So what is GigCity Adelaide and who will benefit?

GigCity Adelaide is an Australian-first network connecting entrepreneurs, start-ups and big businesses to gigabit-speed internet via the South Australian Broadband Research and Education Network (SABRENet).

The 250km fibre optic network spans across 14 precincts, including the Tonsley Innovation District, TechInSA, Stretton Centre and St Paul’s Creative Centre.

These precincts will access internet speeds from 1 gigabit per second (Gb/s) and up to 100 times faster than the national average.

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The State Government says GigCity Adelaide will allow innovative and technology-advanced companies to thrive.

“For the first time we will see businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs access ultra-fast internet that is cheaper and less restrictive than current available plans on the market, which only offer half the speed,” says Science and Information Economy Minister Kyam Maher.

Under the network, businesses and co-working spaces in the designated precincts can access the service on plans starting from $49.90 to $179.90 per month.

Delivery is expected to take place in July, with Keswick-based company ESCAPENet recently appointed as the provider.

One of the first precincts to be connected will be tenants of St Paul’s Creative Centre.

St Paul’s tenant and virtual reality software developer, Novus Res, says GigCity Adelaide will bring big benefits and “make life easier”.

Novus Res co-founder Matthew Wilson says the company is developing a 360° camera that allows for real-time creation and streaming of ultra-high definition 360° video.

A 360° camera records views in all directions.

The 360° MEKI camera records views in all directions and allows for real-time creation and streaming of ultra-high  360° video.

The 360° MEKI camera records views in all directions and allows for real-time creation and streaming of ultra-high 360° video.

Matthew says being connected to GigCity Adelaide will boost the delivery of the new product.

“GigCity will allow us to create and stream high quality, 360° video in real time and it’s important for us to demonstrate how this technology works,” he says.

“At the moment we can do it, but GigCity will allow us to demonstrate the full capability of our camera system.”

John Lindsay is an advisor to the Department of State Development, director of Adelaide-based cloud consultancy jtwo solutions and the keeper of GigCity knowledge.

“We hope this is the beginning of something really big,” he says.

“Businesses are being starved of this sort of service which is available in other economies.”

In June the State Government announced a further $2.9m to expand the network to additional precincts including regional SA.

Its total investment is $7.6m.

So what is Ten Gig City?

If GigCity Adelaide isn’t enough to blow technological minds, Adelaide City Council is also working on a city-wide 10Gb/s capable fibre optic network.

Ten Gig City will provide an ‘interconnect hub’ allowing local businesses, governments and researchers to connect to one other and export their services to the world at a lightning fast 10Gb/s.

Adelaide Lord Mayor Martin Haese says Ten Gig City will complement the State Government’s GigCity Adelaide project and the NBN rollout.

He says once business models are endorsed by Councillors, construction of the Ten Gig City network is likely to start by the end of 2017.