New Noosa broadband deal could signal “Silicon Beach” region

Friday 20 November, 2015 | By: Darrell Giles | Tags: NBN Co, broadband, Elysium Noosa, Our Community Broadband;

All we want for Christmas is …. fast internet.

That wish will be coming true for some Noosa Shire residents and small businesses thanks to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) Noosa and Sunshine Coast-based Our Community Broadband.

CCIQ Noosa President Peter Chenoweth said his chamber had been investigating a fast, affordable and reliable broadband service for the local business community after NBN Co representatives told the chamber that the region might not get broadband for 18 months – meaning 2017 before being connected.

Mr Chenoweth said CCIQ Noosa and Our Community Broadband had joined forces with the new Elysium Noosa Estate to deliver a fixed wireless broadband aerial network before Christmas.

“In choosing to come together and collaborate within its own community, Elysium has shown the rest of Noosa the power of collaboration to solve community issues, and in this case, specifically how to quickly obtain fast, affordable and reliable broadband,” he said.

“This will be the first OCB aerial in the Noosa Shire and it is currently scheduled to be live before Christmas. The timing of this scheduled installation is significantly in advance of CCIQ Noosa’s aspiration to have the first aerial installed by June 30, 2016.

“The chamber credits the unusually rapid adoption of this fixed wireless technology to the local groundswell of desperation for fast, affordable broadband.”

Mr Chenoweth said CCIQ Noosa had not endorsed or recommended any internet alternative, but recognised it as a critical, missing piece of infrastructure for local small businesses and wanted to provide members with various options.

“Elysium’s decision is a game-changer. It not only manifests new hope for broadband for the shire, it may turn out to be the first step for the shire on the path towards ‘Silicon Beach’,” he said.

Andy Whitmore, co-founder and director of Our Community Broadband, had been looking for 200 small businesses and residents within a 2km radius to get a broadband project in Noosa.

“Due to the collective effort of the community at Elysium, Our Community Broadband is delighted to announce its arrival in Noosa six months ahead of schedule,” he said.

“This community-driven initiative will be the first of many across the shire as more people come together to better enable their workplaces and homes.”

Geoff Brinckman, secretary of the Elysium Noosa Body Corporate, said the new broadband would be a significant step forward as internet services were “normally ineffective due to the totally inadequate copper cable”  currently available.

“Following representations by many frustrated residents, a reliable fixed wireless broadband service which could provide speeds well in excess of what is being received through the existing network, was investigated,” he said.

“There was overwhelming support to approve the community’s contribution to the cost of the infrastructure … the OCB available plans are very cost-effective.”

Mr Brinckman said the 100-plus residents taking up the OCB plan could switch to NBN if they wanted, if and when an improved alternative service was available.   

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