- Last updated:
- 16 Nov 2015
Digital infrastructure provides the networks (fixed, mobile, wifi and satellite) for broadband connectivity and cloud infrastructure (such as data centres). Access to broadband through fixed, mobile and WiFi layers of digital infrastructure is today as critical to the future as the traditional utilities of electricity, water and sewers.
Digital infrastructure builds across the whole of Australia are occurring at a level not seen before. The Cisco Forecast[include7] indicates a 4.6 fold increase in average broadband speeds and that mobile data traffic will grow 14 fold over the same 2011 to 2016 period. Coupled with the findings of the Ericsson report[include7] that shows doublings in broadband speed increase the relevant domestic product by 0.3% and 0.6% if that doubling is sustained, it has the potential to reinvigorate the Coast economy significantly.
With an $11 billion plus regional economy, doubling of broadband speeds has the potential to add $300 million to the regional economy.
Digital infrastructure and the services offered over it increasingly underpin the success of the region's businesses across all sectors. Facilitating the investment in the region by privately controlled carriers is a priority for council as it recognises the link broadband has to business and jobs growth in the 21st century.
Digital infrastructure on the Coast is rapidly catching up with capital cities. The Coast has been closing the digital divide and the next few years will see the region on an equal footing.
Investment on the Sunshine Coast
As at November 2012, the region is estimated to benefit from over $639 million in digital infrastructure builds. This significant investment is being driven by the national rollout of the National Broadband Network by NBN Co ($553 million over 10 years) and major digital infrastructure builds that are occurring on the Coast over the current five-year (2011 – 2016) period.
An estimated $86.9 million has been committed with the majority occurring at the front end of this period. These investments are due in part to the carrier’s response to the NBN and in a number of discrete locations, their response to council identification of locations with unmet demand.
Types of investment
There are four types of investment occurring on the Coast, each contributing to significant maturing of the extent of competition, coverage and capacity within the region.
- improvements to the mobile broadband network through additional towers and upgrades
- improvements to the existing copper network with the addition of top hats to improve the service outside the 2.5 kilometre area
- additions to the fibre network and cloud infrastructure (data centres).
The major investors are:
- Telstra – mobile broadband, copper, fibre and cloud
- Optus – mobile broadband, copper, fibre and cloud
- Vodafone– mobile broadband, copper
- Big Air, Somerville and other licensed wireless specialists
- internet/retail service providers such as TPG, iinet, Westnet etc.
- various carriers, builders and network operators investing and considering to invest on the Coast.
This unprecedented level of digital infrastructure will enable this region (and many others across Australia) to harness the significant benefits of the rapidly growing digital economy. Over the next five years, the digital internet economy is expected to grow from its current level of $50 billion to $70 billion in Australia alone.
Recent and current investments on the Coast
In 2012 Vodafone completed a multi-million dollar investment to complete a new optic fibre build from Noosa Heads to Brisbane improving broadband for areas previously inadequately serviced.
In January 2013 ISP Solutions[include7] completed a 40 Gb high speed symmetrical service into the Coast. ISP Solutions is a new business service provider for the Coast providing faster broadband and provides welcome competition and better pricing for business consumers.
Telstra Wholesale completed the rollout of 65 top hat installations on the Coast. This new technology, referred to as ‘top hats’ is integrated into existing street cabinets to allow more access to internet services for local residents and business. The top hat is an innovative way of deploying ADSL2+ equipment on top of an existing side cabinet which provides telecommunications services. This translates to better access to a range of BigPond content for local users.
Telstra investment on the Coast with 4G upgrades. 4G is the latest in mobile technology and gives you access to some of the fastest download and upload speeds available anywhere. As well as supporting faster mobile speeds, 4G provides a more responsive internet, lower latency internet connection meaning real-time applications like video conferencing and cloud-hosted streaming services work better with less buffering and fewer interruptions.
To check 4G availability in your area visit the Telstra website[include7]
A multi-million dollar investment from Optus into new sites and upgrades of mobile broadband has added an additional layer of technology (900Mhz) for consumers. This has resulted in significantly better coverage for Optus customers. Visit the Optus website[include7] for specific location coverage details.
This webpage will be updated with the latest investments / activities from carriers as they are announced.