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Slattery's "crazy'' internet plan set to be a huge moneyspinner

Business

Tech entrepreneur Bevan Slattery’s HyperOne fibre network would generate an economic benefit of $3 billion, according to Deloitte research commissioned by the company.

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The network concentrates on regional Australia and would have about 2000 on and off ramps to connect those communities to the internet, many of them for the first time.

It would also serve as a new fibre backbone, allowing the NBN and broadband providers to improve their offerings to consumers.

On his LinkedIn page, Slattery said: “I seriously keep asking myself ‘Why do I keep doing this crazy stuff?’

“It really is because I understand how much it matters. Whether you’re a township of 100 people or a capital city of 5,000,000 people. We will build backbone for you all,’’ he said.’

The network will include more than 2000 on and off ramps across regional areas, providing many communities with access to backhaul fibre for the first time.

Slattery said Australia’s existing fibre backbones effectively bypassed many of the communities along their route, offering no way for people in regional areas to connect.

“In many cases, you have communities with backhaul fibre right under their feet but have no way to access it and are stuck with subpar broadband or satellite connections,” he said.

The Deloitte Access Economics report revealed the HyperOne network, which is about to start construction, would deliver more than $3b in direct economic benefits and contribute to $22.6b in broader economic gains – much of that in regional areas. 

“The report found HyperOne could help reduce the digital divide between regional and metropolitan areas, helping to spur the growth of new and existing industries away from the major cities,’’ HyperOne said.

The report identified agriculture and resources as established industries that could benefit from the improved connectivity. It also found HyperOne could support the construction of new data centres across regional Australia, with Darwin well placed to become a data centre hub for south east Asia.

Slattery said regional Australia had enormous untapped economic potential but had been held back by a lack of quality digital infrastructure.

“The opportunity is there – and I think we are going to see an explosion in regional economies over the coming decades as we work to close the digital divide between major cities and country areas,” he said.

HyperOne will connect every Australian capital via a 20,000km+ network of hyperscale fibre optic cables capable of carrying more than 10,000 terabits per second. It will also create more than 10,000 jobs during construction.

Mr Slattery said the improved connectivity enabled by HyperOne would also make it possible for more people to live outside the capital cities while retaining jobs that have traditionally been based in metropolitan areas.

“The Covid experience has shown us that, in many industries, people can work from anywhere – provided they have fast and reliable internet. HyperOne will open up more opportunities for people to do these jobs from regional communities. 

Construction work on the first stage of HyperOne is expected to start soon, with the project to be completed by late 2024.

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