City’s optic fibre ‘super charged’ for the future

15 August 2018

Gold Coast businesses, visitors and residents are about to see the City’s optic fibre program go to the ‘next level’ with a 37km loop planned for the existing network.

“This is super-charging an already incredible optic fibre network, the best in Australia by far,’’ said Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate.

Council yesterday voted to expand the City-owned carrier-grade telecommunications network, as part of its broader Digital City Program. It will cost around $10 million.

“This will result in a 37km loop being added, taking in Broadbeach, Burleigh, Varsity Lakes and Robina. When finished, the network will be 100 times faster than what exists today,’’ he said.

Over the last 18 months, Council has installed a 45km optic fibre ‘backbone’, running along the light rail corridor from Helensvale to Broadbeach. That cost $4.5 million.

That facility was installed ahead of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and delivered tens of millions in free publicity for the coast through the private social media of visitors and athletes as well as the thousands of hours of television and digital broadcast coverage of the Games, beamed to more than 70 countries.

The 37km loop will allow the City to achieve a financial benefit in excess of $2.5 million through cost savings as well as revenue from ‘opening up’ the network to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and more commercial organisations. 

Brisbane-based company Nexium has a contract with Council to on-sell spare optic fibre space to telecommunications carriers. Several Gold Coast companies are finalising agreements with Nexium, delivering ratepayers an early return on their investment.

Key benefits of the latest plans include:

  • a 100 times faster network as well as a more secure and reliable network
  • CCTV networks with bandwith to all locations (this extension will support immediate upgrades in Burleigh, Varsity Lakes and Nerang) 
  • better community services including high-powered computing for public use in libraries
  • new opportunities for flexible and remote working and higher network resilience; and
  • accelerated deployment of 5G and other new high-bandwidth technologies.

“This is our next step in the City’s vision to be Australia’s leading digital city,’’ said Mayor Tate.

The cabling is expected to be installed by July next year with initial works starting at Broadbeach and extending to Gold Coast University Hospital. No roads or services need to be relocated with the cabling fed through underground conduits.

Birds eye shot of the gold coast beaches and skyline.