The Regional Backbone Blackspots Program (RBBP) is an Australian Government initiative with the specific objective of providing competitive wholesale backbone services to underserved regional markets. Nextgen Group (as Nextgen Networks) won the role to design, construct, manage, operate and maintain these new backbone transmission links on behalf of the Australian Government.
Service locations are set out in accordance with the high level map as below. Products include transmission, IP and co-location services suitable for wholesale backhaul purposes.
RBBP services offered by Nextgen on open and equivalent terms and conditions to the market as part of strict contractual obligations with the Australian Government. In practical terms, this means that Nextgen Group cannot obtain an advantage when directly selling its own RBBP services to entities other than wholesale customers. The Agreement with the Australian Government defines wholesale customers as Carriers, Carriage Service Providers, ISPs, Systems Integrators, Broadcast Transmission Providers and Utilities. For more information, please see the Nextgen Equivalence Undertaking.
Potential wholesale customers engaging in forward looking network planning involving any of the nominated RBBP routes should contact their Nextgen Account Manager or call 1300 653 351 for further discussions.
As part of its National Broadband Network (NBN) commitment, the Australian Government allocated up to $250 million in funding to improve backbone transmission market outcomes to a number of priority ‘blackspot’ locations. In July 2009, the Commonwealth issued a Request for Tender (RFT) to build, operate and maintain backbone transmission links under the Regional Backbone Blackspot Program (RBBP) to six priority locations:
Following the conclusion of a competitive tender process, Nextgen Group (as Nextgen Networks) was selected to build, operate and maintain almost 6,000 kilometres of new fibre network assets. Nextgen Group also made a substantial financial contribution to the RBBP.
Nextgen was contracted to build the RBBP network on behalf of the Australian Government. The core features of the backbone transmission network incorporated:
Nextgen Group offers wholesale services using the RBBP network assets on an open and equivalent basis, enforced through contractual terms and the funding of the agreement with the Australian Government.
The network design, technical features and commercial arrangements for RBBP have been established to extend the service reach and business opportunities for a wide range of communications industry operators. Construction activities commenced in February 2010. All infrastructure links associated with the RBBP routes were completed within 18 months from this time. Shorter routes within the network were delivered even earlier.
The design and construction activities were undertaken by partner company Visionstream.
This initiative was made possible with the support of the Australian Government’s National Broadband Network Regional Backbone Blackspots Program.