A Redland City Council plan to install a fast internet fibre network is set to unlock connectivity for businesses across Redlands Coast.
Mayor Karen Williams said the new Council-owned fibre network would provide significant savings for Council’s own existing operating costs, while also offering capacity to improve services for local businesses.
“The decision to install a fibre network follows several years of Council investigations, engaging with NBN Co and a number of industry telecommunications providers to investigate the best way to deliver high-speed broadband services to Redlands Coast businesses,” Cr Williams said.
“NBN Co has rolled out on Redlands Coast for residences, but it has limited business-grade services available.
“Council’s plan is focused on providing better connectivity across Council buildings, with spare fibre able to then be accessed to nearby businesses, delivering significant economic opportunity.”
Cr Williams said that as part of the investigations, Council had also reviewed the connectivity of its own offices and installations.
“Currently Council spends more than $200,000 on a complex network of fibre, microwave, wireless, 4G broadband, point-to-point Wi-Fi, radio (VHF/UHF) and fixed-line DSL services,” Cr Williams said.
“In addition to being costly, this technology also provides varying degrees of service, prompting Council to look for ways to improve our connectivity as well as supporting our businesses.”
Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the project had been made possible through the Palaszczuk Government’s Unite and Recover Community Stimulus Package, which provided $50 million to 12 south-east Queensland Councils, in addition to $50 million from the 2020-21 COVID Works for Queensland program.
“The pandemic has delivered a severe blow to economies around the world, including right here in Queensland,” he said.
“However, Queensland’s plan for economic recovery is being rolled out right now and that includes this package, which delivered $2 million to this Council, tipped to support or create more than 40 jobs.
“The Council also received more than $2.8 million through the COVID Works for Queensland program, which is supporting or creating almost 35 jobs.
“This is an economic injection into the region of almost $5 million, which will make a big difference to financial security for families and workforces.”
Cr Williams said stage 1 of Council’s plan would connect Council’s administration building in Cleveland to its South Street Depot, before continuing on to the IndigiScapes centre in Alexandra Hills via Council’s animal shelter, providing opportunities to nearby businesses.
“Work on this first stage is expected to begin early in the new year, with Council also planning future routes to connect to Capalaba and Victoria Point,” Cr Williams said.
“In addition to saving Council $900,000 over the 20-year life of the infrastructure, this fibre could also deliver an economic return to Council with the spare fibre to be available to businesses through telecommunications carriers.
“A fibre network offers a number of key economic and community benefits to our city, including enhanced connectivity for our schools, hospital and other vital community infrastructure.
“The new fibre network will provide high bandwidth and additional connectivity capacity for Redlands Coast and create a higher likelihood of an accelerated 5G rollout.”