Gold Coast plans to open up expanded fibre network to telcos

Council sees financial benefits from $10 million investment in expanding its fibre network

The Gold Coast is planning to offer ISPs and backhaul providers access to its expanded fibre network in the hopes of reaping a financial reward for the Queensland city.

The City of the Gold Coast is funding a $10-million expansion of its fibre network, adding a 37-kilometre loop.

The council said that the new fibre loop will deliver financial benefits in excess of $2.5 million, both from cost savings as well as telco revenue.

Nexium will sell capacity on the expanded network to telcos and other businesses; the City said that “several companies” are already negotiating access.

The loop will cover Broadbeach, Burleigh, Varsity Lakes and Robina. The City is eyeing the potential further expansion of the network, hooking up the southern and northern parts of the Gold Coast.

The existing 65-kilometre fibre backbone, which runs from Helensvale to Broadbeach, was rolled out of the last 18 months, ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games. The initial rollout cost $4.5 million.

“We’re developing a low-latency, high-core-count fibre optic network that has the capacity to deliver the fastest internet speeds in Australia,” the Gold Coast’s chief innovation and economy officer, Ian Hatton, said in a statement.

“When finished, the network will be 100 times faster than what exists today,”

“The rollout of the network reinforces the City’s commitment to creating a strong digital economy that will benefit our residents, visitors and business community,” Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said.

Hatton said the expanded network could potentially support 5G mobile infrastructure, as well as other high-bandwidth services.

The Gold Coast has housed 5G demonstrations by both Telstra and Optus. It is home to Telstra’s 5G Innovation Centre, and the telco last week declared that it had started declaring Gold Coast mobile sites “5G-ready” (provoking a firm response from its rival).

Optus has staged a range of 5G demonstrations on the Gold Coast.

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