An ultra fast and affordable Gigabit Internet is coming to Whyalla by the end of this year, with businesses primed to take advantage of broadband speeds up to 1000 times faster than the national average.
The Gig City Network is being implemented by Adelaide-based company MIMP Connecting Solutions, which will be setting up 16 connection towers in Whyalla.
The concept was pitched to a group of businesses at an information session held at the Regional Development Australia Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula (RDAWEP) office on Thursday.
A majority of businesses in Whyalla will be able to connect into the network for at a minimum cost of $49.90, with Whyalla City Council CEO Chris Cowley calling it a 'game changer' for the steel city's business sector.
"This will differentiate Whyalla for prospective businesses that are looking at the opportunities that can present themselves when they're looking at where they set up," Mr Cowley said.
"It gives our businesses a competitive advantage going forward."
In the future Mr Cowley is hopeful the Gig City concept can be expanded to include a free WiFi service for residents.
"My dream is for some sort of free WiFi across our city, and we could market that as being one aspect we are offering to the community," he said.
"I'm even thinking about things like E-Sports, why couldn't Whyalla start to embrace the E-Sport community?"
The Gig City Network is a $1 million state government funded project which is also being expanded to Mount Gambier.
State government Telecommunications Specialist Peter Triantafilou said finding a provider for the project would always be a challenge but MIMP were the right choice for the job.
"We've ended up with a good provider who wants to do this job and we have the means to do it," he said.
MIMP General Manager Stephen Fitzgerald said the network would enable businesses to store important files online in the cloud as opposed to on a computer.
"If you're in a medical imaging service you can upload all your scans to the qualified person, wherever that person might be, to give you analysis," he said.
"Looking at GFG Alliance, they are having to wait until 2 in the morning to send files overseas. With this network they can send data any time of the day, regardless of the size because they will never max our their bandwidth."
RDAWEP Economic Development Manager David Penfold said the high-speed internet would be a big improvement on the poor speeds many local businesses are used to.
"A lot of the businesses in Whyalla have atrocious internet here. It's not average, it's really poor, so now they're going from poor to extremely fast," he said.
"That opens up a whole heap of possibilities."
Mr Penfold said the network would also support online education, which is 'requiring more and more bandwidth'.
MIMP are hoping to connect the first Whyalla customer to the Gig City Network in October, with the plan to complete installation by the end of 2019.
To register go to www.gigair.com.au/gigcity or contact MIMP Connecting Solutions Sales Manager Ben Lindop on 0478 082 033 or email@example.com.