State-owned fibre internet won't reach Douglas Shire
Douglas Shire will miss out on direct involvement a state government project set to improve internet speeds in regional Queensland.
Last week, the state government announced it would utilise 6000 kilometres of state-owned fibre optic cable to boost connectivity and potentially lower prices.
Along with the cable, a new government entity called ‘FibreCo’ would be initiated to partner with internet service providers.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission reports regional Queensland has some of the least competitive internet markets in Australia.
However, the network and services overseen by FibreCo will not reach as far north as the Douglas Shire with Cairns the most northern town to have access.
Douglas Shire Mayor, Julia Leu, said while the network won’t be available in the region, the development is still an exciting prospect.
“Douglas Shire Council has not been involved in any discussions regarding Fibre Co Qld at this stage,” she said.
“I am to keen to learn more about this exciting initiative and see how this could possibly benefit the Douglas Shire.
“Any sustainable infrastructure that can boost internet connectivity and potentially lower costs for Douglas Shire ratepayers can only be positive for the region.”
Internet consumers in the Douglas Shire region may still benefit from the project if they choose an internet service provider who can utilise the fibre network.
FibreCo is expected to work with internet service providers to connect parts of the state-owned optical fibre network to the National Broadband Network (NBN) in key regional areas.
This connection is expected to enable existing and new NBN retail service providers to acquire much better backhaul capacity at competitive prices.
Bundaberg based internet service provider Open Cloud Broadband
CEO and cofounder, Luke Baker, said the network would allow them to expand their customer base.
“This would allow Open Cloud Broadband to increase our bandwidth allocation for every customer and also allow us to roll out our "Gigabit to the Premise" product to regional areas,” Mr Baker said.
“Australia's backhaul pricing is among the highest in the world which is the major factor in Australia's poor internet service.
“This initiative has the potential to make Queensland the most connected state in the country.”
FibreCo is expected to begin operations in mid-2019.
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