Queensland fibre hit by national plan

Queensland fibre hit by national plan

Summary: The federal government's plans to build a $4.7 billion national fibre to the node broadband network (NBN) could be stopping one of Queensland's newest cities from getting fibre to the home.

TOPICS: Broadband, NBN

The federal government's plans to build a $4.7 billion national fibre to the node broadband network (NBN) could be stopping one of Queensland's newest cities from getting fibre to the home.

New city Springfield, 25 kilometres south west of Brisbane has become more connected than many. The planners, Springfield Land Corporation, have built an open access 72-core fibre link from the Brisbane CBD to the Springfield CBD with help from Pipe Networks, as well as hooking up corporate towers and the new Polaris datacentre which houses tenants such as Suncorp and the Queensland Government.

There has been a lot of interest from carriers wanting to provide services to these commercial tenants according to Mike Andrea, external CIO for the Springfield Land Corporation and director of IT consultancy Strategic Directions, however, residential connectivity has been a different kettle of fish.

The Land Corporation would like a carrier to jump in and connect residences directly with fibre, Andreas said, saying that of the 105,000 planned for the city, 16,000 of the residences already built and connected via copper had complained of connectivity issues.

Since the city was still being built, fibre could be laid at the same time as the streets were, Andrea said, which could reduce costs of network roll-out by 40 to 50 per cent.

The fish haven't been biting however. The pitch, "You know what? See that forest over there? We're going to build a city," hasn't held a quick enough profit for the carriers, Andrea said, who want to see returns after three to five years.

"They say: 'Show us the clients'," he said, adding: "The carrier will build it when it's needed." However, building after the streets are finished will mean higher roll-out costs, Andrea said, making fibre to the home just as unaffordable as everywhere else.

It hasn't just been the carrier's return cycle which has been stymieing Andrea's plans for a digital city. "Carriers which could deliver those services won't invest because they don't know how we are going to come out of the national broadband network," he said.

With the date to receive proposals for the government's fibre to the node network pushed back until the end of the year, a plan won't be emerging soon. Around three families a day will be moving into the city over the next 12 to 18 months, into residences that will have copper if an agreement can't be reached.

Andrea admitted that the Corporation could organise the build like it did the link between Springfield and Brisbane CBD, but said NBN uncertainty would dog it as it would the carrier's build.

Topics: Broadband, NBN

Suzanne Tindal

About Suzanne Tindal

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for the site.

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  • open fibre to the home

    Mike Andreas,
    you don't want one telco to put the fibre in.
    Please look at getting Opticomm, OPENetworks or someone who does open fibre to the home.
    Allowing multiple isp/telco to offer choice.

    Stephen Davies seem to a good resource on FTTH

    If you build it they will buy your homes.
  • Project Vista

    It's not the only fibre to to Home plan that has been canned by Rudd's fibre to the Node.

    The Project Vista fibre to the home plan looks to have been canned as well:


    Fibre to the Home in Brisbane would have been great, another casualty of the one size fits none national plan.
  • Go with Telstra

    Telstra will have this covered when the Labor get serious about Broadband!!
  • Springfield Lakes

    Well I live out there and the truth is we are currently on a RIMS system with no ports available where I am. This has been on going since I moved there. It is really a luck of the draw. This is why some of the residents in SL have taken things into there own hands. :)
  • Just an Idea

    Why doesn't the developer build the conduits for the fiber while the roads are being built then rent/sell the conduits when the market is available when the carriers are more comfortable with investing. That way the cheapness of laying the cable still exists when ever they want to do it and weather or not it ends up Government or private the developers should recoop their costs?
  • Just do it

    Why doesn't the government just cut the bullshit, form an infrastructure group, put out a tender to build the FTTH network itself and then rent access to the network to companies looking to provide access?

    If you want shit done you have to do it yourself.
  • connecting ppl

    it's about connecting ppl to communities and getting information to everyone. QLd Smart State campaign surely means this and more to the communities at large. We the voters live everywhere and Springfield Lakes is a model city for the future ICT to build and connect us to everything. If the business has not woken up to this, then we are behind, never mind hundreds of families are moving into this huge city of SL every week or so. Buildings are build to accommodate ppl, what then, how do you communicate, work and connect to others? I live here and I find it hillarious when all of us are IT savvy and all the young families are eager to invest in the internet and broadband. What is holding up this city?
  • A city with no Broadband

    I don't know whether to laugh about this matter or not. A developed country and a developing city needs BB and this emerging city is in a black spot. Very good planning.

    I feel pity for the kids in this area and imagine doing a home based business. I am one of the resident of SL and had enough,
    One Word Delfin