World-class data centre for Townsville

Setting a new benchmark for regional technology access, James Cook University (JCU) and telecommunications firm, Anittel, have entered into an exclusive agreement for the development of a Tropical Knowledge & Innovation Centre (TKIC) in Townsville.

The proposed multi-level data centre facility will be the largest of its kind in Northern Queensland (NQ), forming part of JCU's $1billion 'Discovery Rise' town centre development.
The agreement between Anittell and JCU followed on from the findings of research conducted by Townsville Enterprise Limited, which identified that there was significant commercial interest and community benefit in building a local data centre complex.

The new TKIC will provide a world-class data and business incubation and collaboration centre for Townsville and the surrounding area, delivering cloud computing, communication services and support to the Townsville region. The Centre will also deliver significant benefits for JCU, the NQ economy, regional ICT job opportunities, and the business community as a whole.

Anittel will begin working collaboratively with JCU and interested stakeholders to finalise the TKIC development proposal over the next six months. In addition, a series of local community forums will be hosted at JCU, ensuring that Townsville and the NQ community take advantage of the opportunity to be at the forefront of the cloud computing technology revolution.

James Cook University's Executive Director, Finance and Resource Planning, Mrs Tricia Brand, said that the Data Centre Complex would not only be a welcome addition to the University's facilities but also a further contribution to the economic development of Northern Queensland.

"It fits well with our Discovery Rise strategy to create a sustainable community where people and knowledge-based business can thrive," Mrs Brand said.

Townsville Enterprise Limited, Economic Development Manager, Ross Contarino said Townsville's existing optic fibre networks, thriving commercial hub and resilient economy, means that the City is well-placed to cater to the growing ICT industry.

"The TKIC will allow businesses in Northern Queensland access to locally operated cloud technology, which will reduce their IT costs and enhance their data security and accessibility. The Centre will also be a catalyst for new ICT innovations and further assist in the growth of this emerging industry within the region," said Mr Contarino.

Anittel Northern Queensland Regional Manager Scott Spaulding commented, "It is very exciting to be part of this project, which will transform ICT opportunities in Northern Queensland. As Townsville is the second capital city of QLD, it is important that the city and its university have this type of infrastructure to enable them to be competitive both nationally and globally."

Anittel is currently inviting progressive organisations and local government to explore the economic & broader benefits that a technology hub and business incubation center can deliver for their region.

David McGill, National Development Manager at Anittel is currently in discussion with a number of councils to develop initiates similar to the project in Townsville.

Mr McGill commented that, "Regional development of ICT infrastructure will have a lasting benefit for those communities who embrace the move to cloud computing, cloud telephony and associated services.

"These cloud technologies are key industry transformations that can foster successful ICT investment & partnerships in regional communities, which Anittel aims to deliver as a priority to Australian business and government," said Mr McGill.