New OZ Broadband Network Team
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Austar United Communications, Soul and Unwired have formed a three-way alliance to get a chunk of the feds’ $1.1 billion Connect Australia program to build an alternative national broadband network.

Austar chief executive John Porter says the AUSalliance network will use wireless, DSL2-plus and fibre, deployed quickly in regional Australia at a lower cost.

 He claims the alliance can build the nation’s first truly competitive alternate broadband infrastructure.

Austar and Unwired said their spectrum licenses cover 95 percent of the population, enabling them to rollout high-speed wireless networks. Unwired has already been funded $37 million by Intel to use WiMax technology, a standard which the chipmaker is backing in a big way.

Soul has the biggest independent regional access network, with 280 points of presence as well as a capital city capability.

The companies say they have commercial plans to cover about 55 percent of the Australian population and the feds’ funding will help them reach under-serviced regional and outer-metro areas.