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Frequently Asked Questions

About QCN Fibre

+Who is QCN Fibre?

Who is QCN Fibre? The team at QCN Fibre is driving innovation throughout Queensland communities. Through delivering real solutions of improved telecommunications Coverage, Capacity and Competition, QCN Fibre enables Queenslanders to take advantage of their exceptional opportunities in the emerging economy.

QCN stands for Queensland Capacity Network and is jointly owned by Powerlink and Energy Queensland. Our Chairman, Greg Young and CEO, Derek Merdith have deep, global, and local experience with market-leading telecommunications organisations.

+Is QCN Fibre owned by the Government?

QCN Fibre is known as a government-owned corporation (GOC). It is jointly owned by Powerlink Queensland and Energy Queensland and is under the remit of three Cabinet Ministers;

  • The Honourable Cameron Dick MP – Treasurer and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning; and
  • The Honourable Dr Anthony Lynham MP – Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy.
  • The Honourable Kate Jones MP – Minister for State Development, Tourism and Innovation who is the Minister responsible for establishing QCN Fibre.

+Why QCN Fibre?

QCN Fibre was established in direct response to the recommendations of the Telecommunications for the Regions Project, which provided its key report, late 2018.

This project identified a number of opportunities to leverage existing government-owned telecommunications infrastructure. QCN Fibre will improve access to digital capability for regional Queenslanders through delivering real solutions of improved telecommunications Coverage, Capacity and Competition. QCN Fibre enables Queenslanders to take advantage of their exceptional opportunities in the emerging economy.

+What are QCN Fibre’s strategic priorities?

  1. Connecting to Queensland’s nbn Points of Interconnect (POIs) and increasing access to affordable backhaul capacity for retail service providers (RSPs) throughout Queensland.
  2. Developing backhaul hand-off points (PoPs) throughout regional Queensland.
  3. Vastly improving the network’s capacity through investing in innovative optical networking equipment and world-class network design.
  4. Extending the Queensland Government’s existing 12,000km+ network by building infrastructure, smart and strategic capacity swaps and negotiating access to additional Government-owned optical fibre assets.
  5. Increasing competition in Queensland’s telecommunications market by creating a network of innovative Channel Partners with the same client focus as QCN Fibre.
  6. Creating a comprehensive database of government-owned telecommunications assets and making this information easily accessible.

+What products does QCN Fibre provider?

QCN Fibre utilises spare capacity on the state’s existing fibre network to sell affordable, wholesale backhaul (data transfer) capacity to Retail Service Providers (RSPs) and Internet Service Providers (ISPs). This directly impacts the structure and pricing provided to individuals, families, businesses and organisations.

QCN Fibre uses high capacity, telecommunications grade, wireless connectivity where fibre access is physically or commercially unavailable.

+What is backhaul?

Backhaul is a high capacity wholesale service that enables an RSP or ISP to carry large volumes of voice, data and video traffic, often over long distances back to their network hub – typically Brisbane.
Backhaul capacity is sold to telecommunication service providers, who then sell Internet and business grade packages to their customers.

+How will QCN Fibre improve competition for telecommunications in regional Queensland?

  1. QCN Fibre brings spare capacity from government infrastructure to market. This includes unused and unlit (dark fibre) capacity.
  2. Increasing supply of capacity will reduce market prices and allow new and innovative companies to enter regional Queensland.
  3. Providing increased, competitively priced capacity to the 22 nbn POIs.
  4. Developing Points of Presence (POPs) in regional Queensland to help RSPs and ISPs get services over the last mile to their clients.
  5. Through smart and strategic network design, and working with channel partners to innovate, QCN Fibre will increase Coverage, Capacity and Competition for regional Queenslanders.

+Where is QCN Fibre’s network?

QCN Fibre’s network coverage extends across the established 12,000kms+ of Powerlink and Energy Queensland fibre infrastructure networks which provides a regional footprint, second only to Telstra. Additional network expansion available to QCN Fibre, by enabling other State-owned fibre infrastructure and strategic ‘capacity swaps’, could see the coverage extend beyond 12,000kms.

This includes thousands of kilometres of idle and under-used fibre optic cables throughout the State, stretching west from Brisbane to Toowoomba and beyond, and north through regional townships up to Cairns.

QCN Fibre will soon plug into a major international cable network through a new submarine link at Maroochydore, which will give Queensland faster access to Asia and the US – a boon for data-intensive regional businesses.

+Who are QCN Fibre’s customers?

QCN Fibre is a wholesaler to Retail Service Providers (RSPs) and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and QCN Channel Partners.

As a carrier-agnostic telecommunications backhaul provider, QCN Fibre sells wholesale services to local internet providers, providing local, regional and remote businesses and communities with more choice than ever.

+How is QCN Fibre different from nbn?

QCN Fibre is not duplicating or competing with the National Broadband Network. QCN Fibre complements and supports nbn by connecting backhaul capacity to nbn Points of Interconnect (POIs). The nbn can then connect these regional POIs to homes and businesses for RSPs and ISPs.

+What sort of technology does QCN Fibre use?

QCN Fibre’s network utilises Dense Wave Division Multiplexing (DWDM) to provide extremely high capacity data transmission over optic fibres.

This technology puts together (or ‘multiplexes’) data signals from different sources so they can share a single optical fibre pair while maintaining complete and secure separation of data streams.

 

About Telecommunications Assets

+Why does the Government own these assets?

To manage our electricity, rail and water utilities, the Queensland Government built a telecommunications network, including towers, fibre and microwave networks. This includes the equipment used to monitor and operate these networks.

There is spare capacity in this network that QCN Fibre provides to our clients to support fast, reliable and affordable Internet to regional communities in Queensland.

+How are the network assets currently being used?

Beyond their core businesses, Queensland’s government-owned entities, such as the Energy Queensland Limited group and Powerlink Queensland, have been delivering commercial-grade telecommunication services to industry customers for over ten years.

+Why is there spare capacity?

Advances in technology allow more data transfer using less physical capacity. This means that the Government has opened up this network to improve telecommunications Coverage, Capacity and Competition for regional Queenslanders.

 

Impact on Queenslanders

+What benefits will QCN Fibre deliver to Queenslanders?

The team at QCN Fibre is driving innovation throughout Queensland communities. Through delivering real solutions of improved telecommunications Coverage, Capacity and Competition, QCN Fibre enables Queenslanders to take advantage of their exceptional opportunities in the emerging economy.

This means:

  1. Internet just like Brisbane – metropolitan grade services, metropolitan prices
  2. More choice – access to many telecommunications providers
  3. Options – more capacity, faster speeds and better quality
  4. Opportunity – new businesses can open, more jobs and innovation – no more slow or patchy Internet
  5. Real-time help – e-health treatment options for regional patients
  6. Innovative Education – real e-learning opportunities for regional Queenslanders (QLD currently lags NSW in bandwidth per school student)
  7. Connected to Australia and the world – Increased digital connectivity creates regional economic growth, improves social inclusion and the well-being of our communities

+What does this mean for end users?

QCN Fibre provides backhaul capacity to RSPs and ISPs, wholesale and extremely competitively. Regional Queenslanders will benefit from:

  • Improved quality of Internet for retail customers
    • Lowering the currently extremely high cost of backhaul in regional Queensland enables RSPs and ISPs to buy more capacity, reduce congestion at peak times and provides faster speeds.
  • More options for businesses
    • High capacity, high reliability business-grade services

+Which regional areas will benefit?

QCN Fibre’s current network currently stretches over 12,000+ kilometres, right along the east coast centres such as Mackay, Rockhampton, Cairns, Townsville, and through to the Sunshine and Gold Coasts and townships west through Toowoomba and out to more remote towns such as Goondiwindi.