City network a boost for business

Article image - City network a boost for business Council said the network would future-proof the city for the next 25 years.

Up to 50,000 Queensland businesses will have access to cheap, high speed internet next year, thanks to a Gold Coast City Council project for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The council is installing 45kms of 864-core fibre-optic cable at a cost of $5.5million with the carrier-grade network able to handle twice the data of the NBN in that area.

The cable stretches from Griffith University and the Gold Coast University Hospital in the city’s north to Coolangatta in the south and west to the suburb of Helensvale, mirroring the route of the city’s light rail network.

Initially it will be used to feed live, high-definition colour video from the city’s 550 security cameras during the Commonwealth Games in April, as well as from the citywide traffic management camera system.

Once the Games are over the council, which now has a carrier licence, will lease the excess bandwidth to other telecommunications companies.

Gold Coast City Council Digital City Program Manager Ian Hatton said the network would future-proof the city for the next 25 years.

“The overall capacity of the fibre is huge – it could mean for example that we could connect every Gold Coast business within one kilometre of the rail line to a 100Mbps connection.

“Just two dedicated fibres (from the 864 available) will transmit all the high-definition, real-time video from the council safety camera network.

“The NBN and other carriers can provide similar speeds but don’t have the same concentrated capacity in the rail corridor area.

“Basically, the city has more fibre than anyone else along that route.”

A further 20 kilometres of 48-core cable is being laid through the streets of Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach as well as the Southport Broadwater Parklands to allow businesses to connect.

The network will connect to the internet at three spots and has access points to allow for east-west connections.

Council obtained its carrier licence under the Telecommunications Act 1997 to allow it to sell off bandwidth to other carriers, maximising its investment and delivering it at eventually no cost to ratepayers.

The Sunshine Coast council north of Brisbane is the only other in Australia to hold a carrier licence, but it does not have a network.

“The City of Gold Coast is the only council in Australia to have a carrier-grade network of this scale,” Mr Hatton said.