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May 5, 2020

Improving Bundaberg’s digital infrastructure

As part of the Bundaberg Region’s Intelligent Community Strategy, Council is exploring ways to improve digital infrastructure and connectivity throughout the region.  Mayor Jack Dempsey said better connectivity could be a real economic driver for business and industry.

“We have recently begun discussions with QCN Fibre whose role is to provide wholesale access to the state-owned fibre optic network that runs up and down the east coast of Queensland,” Mayor Dempsey said.

QCN Fibre is a Queensland Government-owned corporation that utilises existing infrastructure owned by both Powerlink and Energy Queensland.

This QCN Fibre network runs north west of Gin Gin with a new branch that extends to the western fringe of Bundaberg. From there, QCN Fibre’s infrastructure provides further ability to extend backhaul around Bundaberg’s major urban area. One of QCN’s first projects is to upgrade its connection to the NBN.

“We are investigating precincts and known opportunities where facilitating a connection to QCN’s fibre network through Council-owned pit and pipe infrastructure would spur investment and development in strategic areas of the region,” Mayor Dempsey said.

QCN Fibre Chief Executive Derek Merdith said the company would look at partnering with local internet service providers and major carriers in regional Queensland.

“This would enable internet service providers to offer their customers much better backhaul capacity and internet speeds up to ten times faster than existing offerings and at very competitive pricing,” he said.

“The internet service providers will be able to utilise the government’s own fibre network, however it will be up to network operators and wireless internet providers to build the ‘last mile’ connections to serve the residential and business markets.”

The Intelligent Community Strategy was co-created by Council, industry, academia and community leaders and identifies 20 priority areas to deliver the vision for Bundaberg.

Mayor Dempsey said the high-capacity internet connection is a key part of the strategy. “We will also be doing a survey of the business community to gauge their interest in this new service,” Mayor Dempsey said.

In the meantime, businesses can contact Council’s Strategic Projects and Economic Development team to register their interest in finding out more about digital infrastructure and connectivity via email: sped@bundaberg.qld.gov.au.

 

Article in Bundaberg Now – 5 May 2020 – Reporter : Trish Mears