NBN Local General Manager Chris Cusack.
NBN Local General Manager Chris Cusack.

NBN ‘levelling playing field’ with Rocky business network

BUSINESSES in Rockhampton and Central Queensland could soon have internet with higher speeds and performance guarantees at no greater cost than in Brisbane.

Businesses in the Rockhampton CBD and beyond can now request a fibre connection throughout the NBN business fibre network to achieve upload speeds up to one gigabit per second, or 125 megabytes, as well as generally faster and more reliable internet.

NBN Local general manager Chris Cusack called it a “game-changer for rural and regional Australia” that would help businesses “transform themselves”.

“It’s about NBN offering premium business-grade dedicated fibre services to businesses in Rockhampton and other larger regional centres in northern Queensland for the same price as they would pay for that in George Street in Brisbane,” he said.

“That represents a 67 per cent discount on the pricing of those services previously.

“Businesses that are looking to transform themselves by moving into the cloud … this is a really effective way and efficient way for them to be able to access [cloud services].

“It’s also for small businesses that have really intensive needs.”

The current NBN business fibre network in Rockhampton.
The current NBN business fibre network in Rockhampton.

Mr Cusack called the NBN’s rollout model ‘build on demand’, wherein a business orders a fibre connection from an internet retailer, and if the business is in the NBN’s dedicated zone, the retailer will not be charged to build the connection.

He said that allowed the cost for the business to be lower, which would attract investment in regional areas.

“We’re obviously just coming to some type of post-COVID world,” Mr Cusack said.

“There’s a great deal of interest in people relocating to the regions. That also translates to businesses as well.

“Here’s an opportunity for the regions to attract those businesses, to attract investment … but not have communications as being a barrier to that.

“We’re levelling the playing field.”

The NBN also has $50 million reserved to partner with governments or other parties to expand the network.

Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry at the Developing Northern Australia Conference this week.
Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry at the Developing Northern Australia Conference this week.

Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said she thought the network was going to be “absolutely fantastic”, especially for the CBD and Parkhurst.

“There’s a lot of businesses heading out that way and the fact that [the NBN] is on par with prices in the cities, I think is very important for this area.

“Often in the regions, we’re probably pushed to the side and I’m very pleased that we’re going to be part of this process.”

She said businesses in the region wanted high speed internet in order to grow without restraint.

“Particularly when were talking about developing the north, this is going to be really important for that future growth for lots of different buinssses, but particularly for that international export trade as well.”

She said she was interested in expanding the fibre network to benefit businesses on, for instance, the Capricorn Coast.

“To have things in this area like export hubs to process fruit, meat, and vegetables – to be able to export that overseas – this is all going to help,” Ms Landry said.

Businesses can register online for a free information session at 6.30am on Wednesday morning at the Empire Apartment Hotel.