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The man with no sewerage network, but high-speed NBN

UP TO SPEED: NBN internet user Grant Maw from Pacific Haven.
UP TO SPEED: NBN internet user Grant Maw from Pacific Haven. Alistair Brightman

IT'S a strange situation for Pacific Haven resident Grant Maw - the town has no sewerage network, but he's connected to one of the fastest internet services in Australia.

Mr Maw, who runs software company Sabukat Technologies, is one of few residents in the region who has access to the NBN under the fixed wireless program, parts of which have already been rolled out across the Fraser Coast.

Mr Maw has been able to keep the competitive edge of his business.

"Because I do not have the overhead of maintaining an office, and because the cost of living in the regions is lower than in the metro areas, I can keep my prices down, which means that I can be much more competitive in the global market," he said.

"The business is more internationally competitive and I can run a distributed team much more easily than I could otherwise."

UP TO SPEED: NBN internet user Grant Maw from Pacific Haven.
UP TO SPEED: NBN internet user Grant Maw from Pacific Haven. Alistair Brightman

Hervey Bay and Maryborough however, are awaiting installation of fixed wireless, with fixed line services expected next year.

The lack of infrastructure has prompted the Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce to start surveying for a "heatmap" of internet infrastructure across the Fraser Coast.

President Sandra Holebrook said it was about starting the digital innovation movement with other Fraser Coast chambers, with plans to lobby all levels of government about improving the region's infrastructure.

"It comes down to base level; if the infrastructure isn't correct, and we're not getting NBN anytime soon, we thought we'd look at it from a speed perspective," Ms Holebrook said.

"The (fixed line) service is set for 2018, but that's murky - is that the actual date for fixed line, or is it just copper?" she said.

"If this place is going to develop along the lines of interacting with the outside world, we can't do that if we can't load media or upload properly on slow connections.

"Business efficiency will come from better infrastructure. People will be able to move faster and stay competitive."

 

Mr Maw agreed, stating there would be no general improvement without looking at NBN.

"If they're going to improve broadband in the region, NBN is the only real option," he said.

"It absolutely needs to roll out across the Coast. The digital economy is getting bigger and bigger, and we're getting left behind."

Areas including Dundowran, Torbanlea North, Dundathu and Tiaro have been listed as ready for service under NBN fixed wireless.

NBN fixed wireless differs from fixed line, as it offers wireless connections from a tower at about 25/5 megabits per second (measured download/upload).

Fixed line feeds directly to a house and offers a faster connection at speeds of up to 100/40mbps.

The average speed for Fraser Coast broadband is about 5.83/0.80mbps.

A NBNCo spokesperson said 10,455 premises in central Maryborough and 30,140 in Hervey Bay are scheduled for fixed line services next year.

Up to 4634 properties across the Fraser Coast are considered ready for service, with another 21,927 premises planned or being built.

MAPS: Where you can get NBN on the Fraser Coast:

Map showing NBN fixed wireless availability around Hervey Bay.
Map showing NBN fixed wireless availability around Hervey Bay. Google Maps

 

Map showing NBN fixed wireless availability around Maryborough. Purple indicates where the service is available, while brown indicates where the service is under construction.
Map showing NBN fixed wireless availability around Maryborough. Purple indicates where the service is available, while brown indicates where the service is under construction. Google Maps

 

Map showing NBN fixed wireless availability around Burrum Heads, Pacific Haven, Howard and Torbanlea.
Map showing NBN fixed wireless availability around Burrum Heads, Pacific Haven, Howard and Torbanlea. Google Maps

Topics:  fccommunity fraser coast hervey bay chamber of commerce internet nbn pacific haven


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