The 449 kilometre fibre backbone linking Perth to Geraldton, Western Australia, has been completed.
The link forms part of the Gillard Government's $250 million Regional Backbone Blackspots Program, which aims to deliver 6,000 kilometres of fibre backbone across regional Australia.
Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Senator Conroy said the fibre link means faster and cheaper broadband for families and small businesses located in mid-west Australia.
"The delivery of this fibre backbone infrastructure will allow more retail service providers to offer improved services for around 35,000 people along the route,” he said.
"Previously, retail service providers only had access to one carrier's infrastructure, but this new fibre backbone will allow them to compete on a level playing field."
Labor Senator for Western Australia Louise Pratt said the fibre optic link would also strengthen Australia's bid to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope.
"The SKA will be one of the largest international science projects of the 21st century, with its primary purpose to advance discovery-based science in the fields of astronomy and astrophysics," she said.
"The main SKA site will be located at Murchison Observatory, 315km north east of Geraldton."
According to Senator Pratt, the CSIRO was the new Perth to Geraldton link will provide a link that could be used to transmit large volumes of scientific
data for processing.
Civil engineering on the route was undertaken by Visionstream and Ngarda Alliance.
Ngarda Alliance is a WA-based Indigenous engineering services firm specialising in civil and mining projects and its involvement in this project delivered important employment and training opportunities for a number of Indigenous staff.
Senator Conroy said backbone infrastructure provides the communication links that connect our towns, cities and rural areas to each other and the world.
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