Queensland government to build fibre network to rival NBN
21 December 2017 | Natalie Bannerman
The Queensland government, Australia says that it wants to build its own broadband network to rival incumbent NBN (National Broadband Network).
The news comes in response to the large number of complaints received by the government, about the rollout of the national network, most of which stems from connection delays and unusable services.
Under the newly re-elected Australian government, access to wireless and fibre broadband services were a part of its re-election campaign.
In its platform policy it states: “Labor supports the formation of community and industry alliances to aggregate demand and funding for networks that extend the reach of the NBN in regional Queensland."
Adding:"Labor also encourages major telecommunications carriers, electricity transmission providers and road and rail authorities to cooperate in the development of open access fibre optic and wireless communications infrastructure."
As a result, the government is looking at opening the spare capacity on fibre networks, which is currently used by state-owned companies like Energy Queensland, to keep its platform promise and get the project started.
The government said the plan has the potential to let regional residents switch from satellite or fixed wireless NBN services to fibre-to-the-home.
Leeanne Enoch the former innovation, science and digital economy minister, initially set the project in motion before taking on the role of Minister for Science and taking responsibility for the environment, the Great Barrier Reef, and the arts.
“Providing access to this extra capacity offers an opportunity for smaller, local internet service providers to enter the market, increase competition and drive down prices for regional Queenslanders,” said Enoch. Adding that it was a response to “skyrocketing complaints about the high cost and low reliability” of NBN.
The project is intended to lower through increased competition and enable smaller internet providers to offer residential services using state-owned fibre networks.
Kate Jones, successor to Leeanne Enoch and the new innovation and tourism minister, confirms that the government has “just started an investigation to see if there’s an opportunity for us to use more than 4000kms of fibre optic cables to open it up to business and Queensland communities.” Adding that they are “about to do a research market sounding on what the costs would be but certainly if there’s a way that we can provide high-speed cheap internet access to Queensland business and communities, then we’re definitely going to look at that.”
“For too long, the NBN has become a bit of a joke here in Queensland,” continued Jones. “So many people in regional Queensland just can’t get the internet connectivity they need.”