According to the council’s mayor, Kym McHugh, the new network would pay for itself in less than two-and-a-half years “compared to the cost of connecting all premises via a telecommunications carrier.” “We’ve completely modernised our phone system and rolled it out to more premises, but are saving about $20,000 a year in line rental and data costs by disconnecting a large number of commercial phone lines and Internet services.”
Designed by MIMP, the network runs at 200 megabits per second (Mb/s), using a microwave tower to create a 35km wireless connection between the two towns, and delivers additional savings by eliminating the carrier costs of connecting the main council office in each town with eight outlying offices, such as depots, community centres and landfill facilities.
Alexandrina Council Manager of Information Technology Services, Colin Shackleford, said the council used technology to eliminate borders, and he said that “in terms of communication, all our offices in Goolwa and Strathalbyn are now one huge office.
“We have no inter-office call costs between offices in the two towns and our high-speed computer network makes email and file transfer virtually instantaneous. Our data is centralised but accessible for all of our offices which allows us to properly manage, secure and back up our data.
“What this means for our ratepayers is faster and more effective service across our region. Our aim is to provide consistent, high speed access to tools and information for Council staff as they provide services across the community.”
MIMP, which has worked with the Alexandrina Council since 2007, installed Ceragon microwave equipment for the network.