QCN Fibre sparks new partnerships to end digital divide

Innovation Minister Kate Jones today revealed QCN Fibre had inked an agreement with Toowoomba’s Pulse Data Centre and Queensland internet service provider Over The Wire to provide better internet for thousands of businesses in the Darling Downs.

“For years, businesses in Toowoomba and the Darling Downs have been left with a second rate internet connection. We want to end that,” Ms Jones said.

“It’s no secret that the NBN didn’t deliver everything the Federal Government promised.

“We’re using thousands of kilometres of state-owned optical fibre to provide a stronger and more reliable internet connection for locals through.

“Today’s announcement means that these new packages will soon be on the market.”

Ms Jones said a strong and reliable internet connection was crucial for small businesses.

“Now more than ever before, it’s crucial for small businesses in regional Queensland to have access to a strong, reliable internet connection,” Ms Jones said.

“This is vital to our efforts to help Queensland’s economy recover from COVID-19.

“Queensland has about 10,000 kilometres of fibre optic cabling. About 6000 km of that is owned by the State and isn’t being used to its capacity.

“We are making this available. This will carry business and residential internet and data services at capacities of up to 100 gigabits per second – that’s about 10 times faster than what Toowoomba has access to now.”

QCN Fibre is a Queensland Government telecommunications company jointly owned by Powerlink Queensland and Energy Queensland with a mission to improve regional connectivity through leveraging spare telecommunication capacity in government owned fibre networks.

QCN Fibre Chief Executive Officer Mr Derek Merdith said QCN Fibre partners with local ISPs, as well as the major carriers, in regional Queensland to enable them to offer their customers much better backhaul capacity and internet speeds at very competitive pricingequivalent to established city-based data centres.

Established in 2018 and built by engineering company FKG Group, Toowoomba’s Pulse Data Centre houses telecommunications and data storage systems in a high-security setting.

“The Pulse Data Centre is a significant investment in the region and is attracting local and regional businesses,” Mr Merdith said.

“For large businesses, the Pulse Data Centre represents a very good alternative to established data centres. For local and regional businesses it means they can base their technology infrastructure locally.”

Over the Wire Co-Founder and Director Mr Brent Paddon said QCN Fibre has opened up opportunities for regional business.

“The Queensland Government is to be congratulated for this important and timely telecommunications innovation,” he said.

“Not only will QCN Fibre deliver the access, but more importantly it will enable local ISPs and the technology companies to thrive by allowing them to compete on a level playing field against the big national carriers.

“Until now, regional Queensland was not on our radar as we couldn’t compete against the established big carriers.

“QCN Fibre will allow us to challenge that status quo where we can now deliver internet, voice and data services to regional customers at the same price as we do in the middle of Brisbane with high speeds adding to the point of difference.”

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