Bendigo's 100Gbps Secret

There is one truth in the telecommunications industry that is forever constant – the need for high capacity bandwidth continues to rise, year after year.

The challenge for regional cities

As the digital-era brings in an influx of connected devices, and the adoption of cloud computing continues to accelerate, businesses require more bandwidth than ever before to enable new technologies.

This poses an interesting challenge for regional enterprises as they try to compete with their metropolitan counterparts. While metro areas have a critical mass of businesses to attract investment from service providers, the business case in regional areas is a more risky proposition from a service provider perspective.

Bendigo’s very own Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)

It might surprise you to know that Bendigo – the regional Victorian city where our story began – has a 100Gbps Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) that has been designed to provide enterprise-grade data services to local enterprise, including large government, financial and health organisations.

The MAN, which utilises Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) network technology, was upgraded in May 2019 from 10Gbps to 100Gbps – a ten-fold speed increase. It is enabling local organisations to access advanced cloud computing technology and create disaster recovery plans that would not be feasible without such a network in place. The network gives Bendigo a strategic advantage, as other regional centres and even some capital cities do not have this sort of network capability in place.

How we built the MAN in Bendigo

So how did this happen in what is, relatively speaking, a small community? The answer lies within the community itself. The need for bandwidth is common across all businesses, so Bendigo took a collaborative approach and engaged the larger business community in the area to create a business case that ensured that the infrastructure is able to produce a positive return on investment.

The result of this collaboration is the 100Gbps network that exists today, along with numerous other strategic investments, including a multi-million dollar data centre facility that is connected to the MAN.

So how can regional cities build high-capacity networks?

The results of the collaborative approach that Bendigo has taken demonstrates that high-capacity fibre infrastructure is attainable in regional centres. However, is unlikely to be achieved by waiting for the larger telecommunications companies to invest. It is the proactive attitude from Bendigo’s business community towards our region that has resulted in better telecommunications infrastructure in our regional centre, and can be replicated where regional communities unite for a common goal.

This attitude is still present today, and it is exciting to think of the possibilities that can come from a united and committed group of business. One thing is for sure; the need for bandwidth is continuing to grow, and thanks to our city's cooperative approach, Bendigo businesses are well served for now and into the future.