A new fibre network will deliver high-speed connectivity across Redlands Coast as the region looks towards driving a post-COVID future economy.
Mayor Karen Williams said the network would initially connect five major Redland City Council sites while Council continued investigating how spare fibre bandwidth could help improve internet connections for local businesses and residents.
“A reliable and fast internet service is crucial for local business, particularly following the disruptions presented in a COVID-19 era,” Cr Williams said.
“Fast connectivity will allow more start-up businesses to base themselves on Redlands Coast while also helping established businesses pivot and work towards a broader customer base.
“COVID-19 has changed working behaviour, with working from home becoming a viable option, so a fibre network that looks to the future is crucial if we want to provide opportunity for long-term changes to the way we work and live.”
Redlands Coast Chamber of Commerce President Rebecca Young said Redlands Coast had a “real opportunity” to position itself as being very attractive to business and industry.
“If we are going to position ourselves in terms of investment appeal, and if we want to become more aggressive in that space of attracting businesses to create job growth, we are going to need a fast and reliable network service,” Ms Young said.
“Redlands Business Park is our main commercial and industrial land space on Redlands Coast and connectivity is important to continue the growth of existing businesses and attract others into the space.”
Ms Young said COVID-19 had also forced many local businesses to think about securing a broader customer base.
“Even if a business has a local bricks and mortar retail outlet on Redlands Coast, having the ability to be connected globally is going to keep people afloat in uncertain times,” she said.
“It is certainly important that businesses can remain strong locally, but when we have restrictions placed on how we can operate, lockdowns and border closures, we need to think more broadly about a customer base.
“Fast speed internet connectivity opens up more opportunities, not only for start-up ventures to be based here, but for large-scale and global businesses to allow their employees to live here and work from home.
“Recent studies have been done post-COVID on decentralising urban centres. From that perspective, having fast internet availability on Redlands Coast makes that quite attractive.”
Cr Williams said the fibre network, funded through a $1 million State Government Unite and Recover Community Stimulus Package grant, would initially connect a number of Council facilities in Cleveland and Capalaba, with the potential for it to extend to further Capalaba and Victoria Point sites in the future.
“In addition to saving Council $900,000 over the 20-year life of the infrastructure, this project will offer a number of key economic and community benefits to our city, including enhanced connectivity for our schools, hospital and other vital community infrastructure,” Cr Williams said.
“This is an example of what can be achieved when Council and the State Government work together and on behalf of the community I thank the State Government for investing in this important project.”
Construction of stage 1 is underway and expected to be completed by late May, weather permitting.
The Redlands Coast Fibre Network Expansion project is an initiative of the Queensland Government.