Adelaide startup Uniti Wireless receives $5 million SA Future Jobs Fund grant to expand
Adelaide-based internet service provider Uniti Wireless has received a $5 million grant from the South Australian government’s Future Jobs Fund to help push its expansion around Australia.
Founded by Che Metcalfe and Sasha Baranikov in 2014, Uniti states it was launched to provide an alternative to the NBN.
With a mix of fibre and fixed wireless broadband connections – a mix it calls ‘fibre through the air’ , the company promises download speeds of up to 100Mbps and upload speeds of up to 40Mbps. Uniti has customers in Adelaide and Melbourne and plans to expand into Perth, Brisbane, and Sydney before the end of the year.
Ali Foster, chief administrative officer of Uniti, said the company is proud to be based in Adelaide and is committed to building a strong local workforce.
“South Australia has an amazing entrepreneurial spirit and is leading the way in terms technology and innovation. We are pleased the Government is backing us financially and can see the importance of providing an alternative to the NBN to solve a key problem that is holding back Australia’s productivity and growth: universal access to reliable and super fast broadband,” she said.
“Our aim is to create more than 200 new jobs and pump millions into the state economy over the next few years.”
The grant comes as the company prepares for an initial public offering (IPO), expected later this year.
The funding from the South Australian government is also the latest investment by the state in high speed internet services; the government has backed the development of the GigCity network, a fibre optic network servicing ‘innovation precincts’ across metro Adelaide, including the Tonsley innovation district, Hub Adelaide, and the Technology Park.
Meanwhile, Stephen Rue has this month officially taken on the role of CEO at NBN Co, the company behind the rollout of the national broadband network.
Rue, who had previously served as CFO at News Corp Australia and on the board of companies including Foxtel and REA Group, joined NBN Co as CFO in mid-2014. He was tasked with managing the financial aspects of the company, and “driving key operational enhancements” across the business.
NBN CO reported last month month that more than 70 percent of the total network construction was complete at the end of the financial year, with more than 60 percent of premises able to connect to a service over the NBN access network.
‘Activations’ are now at four million, up from 2.4 million at the end of the last financial year.
Image: Ali Foster. Source: Supplied.