Report highlights broadband blackspots

A new report released by the Wide Bay Burnett Regional Organisation of Councils (WBBROC) has highlighted the broadband blackspots across the Wide Bay region of Queensland.

Fraser Coast Regional Council Mayor Gerard O’Connell has said he is looking forward to working with the Commonwealth Government to improve broadband connectivity in the region to businesses and residents.

“Council, as a member of WBBROC, has always recognised the importance of ensuring the region is ‘connected’ to attract businesses, service providers and infrastructure providers as well as new residents.

“WBBROC commissioned this report by the Digital Economy Group, a leading independent industry specialist to assess digital infrastructure and independently test mobile and fixed broadband services.”

WBBROC consists of the six Councils in the Wide Bay Burnett Region including Gympie Regional Council, North Burnett Regional Council, South Burnett Regional Council, Fraser Coast Regional Council, Cherbourg Aboriginal Community Council and Bundaberg Regional Council.

The report has highlighted 10 priority locations across all of the council regions that are in need of development to remove blacksposts from multiple, or in some cases all, telecommunication providers.

The report concluded that sections of the region are falling behind metropolitan areas in the digital divide.

According to the report, “For regions like Wide Bay Burnett, the challenge is to find ways to partner with the three privately owned carriers to reduce the extent of Blackspot coverage. They must seek to drive expanded and advanced deployment of the best generation technology the carriers are prepared to invest in to generate their private company need for profit. Another avenue to improve coverage is to access the Blackspot Funding Program.

“Ultimately, the study and report will enable us to have meaningful discussions with all telecommunication carriers to ensure service improvements,” Councillor O’Connell said.

A copy of the report can be obtained on the WBBROC website, www.wbbroc.org.au.