Optic fibre to connect the Coast
  • Saturday 26 July 2008

Today Australian Federal Treasurer, Wayne Swan swaps his usual tools of trade for a hard-hat and a small excavator, to cut the first metres of trench for an optic fibre cable to strengthen the future of the Sunshine Coast as a knowledge industries hub for the South East Queensland region.

The optic fibre cable build is part of the Connecting the Coast, high speed broadband project funded by the Australian Federal Government, Sunshine Coast Regional Council and project partners the University of the Sunshine Coast, Allegro Networks and Mach Technology.

The 29 km optic fibre cable, running from Palmwoods to Maroochydore via Sippy Downs will significantly improve bandwidth for the University of the Sunshine Coast, support the growth of the Sippy Downs knowledge economy precinct and provide Maroochydore with the latest technology for business, retail, entertainment and tourism.

Together with optic fibre supporting the development of the Cooroy data centre in the northern part of the Sunshine Coast and an open access wireless network spanning most of the region’s population, residents, business and educators will have a greater choice of broadband services.

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor, Bob Abbot said Council is leading the charge towards a knowledge based regional economy for which this infrastructure is critical.

“Regional broadband has always been a matter of priority. The focus is to provide incentives and modern technology to increase local business capacity and provide more jobs for the region.

“The improvements will attract new business in the knowledge economy, boutique manufacturing, creative industries and the health and personal wealth sectors,” Cr Abbot said.

“Council is planning, jointly funding, revising and updating our Knowledge Economy Strategy with project partner the University of the Sunshine Coast.”

The project represents a partnership between Sunshine Coast Council, University of the Sunshine Coast, Allegro and Mach Technology to the value of $11.6 million, inclusive of $4.1 million in Australian Government funding.

According to Council’s Economic Development and Entrepreneurship Portfolio Chair, Cr Lew Brennan, “This project is part of Councils strategy to encourage the development of higher value regional employment opportunities in association with the University and other key education, business and community organisations.

“High speed broadband services drive new economy industries and assist the community to do business in creative and innovative ways. For example tele-commuting allows residents to work where they live, having a whole range of flow on economic and environmental benefits”

Construction of the optic fibre cable is expected to be complete late January 2009.

Connecting the Coast is supported by funding from the Australian Government under the Clever Networks ISD funding program.