Across the property industry, key players are looking to the Sunshine Coast for new business opportunities thanks to the unprecedented demand from prospective tenants who want a regional location that is supported by capital city digital infrastructure.
At the heart of the Sunshine Coast digital infrastructure offering is the fibre-optic rollout associated with the region’s new international submarine broadband cable, activated in 2020.
All economies now depend on high-speed internet. Potentially, it means an option of working remotely, while at the same time being able to check in with everyone.
In the past you could have only shared knowledge successfully by occupying the same physical location.
The knowledge economy includes industries such as science and medical research, media and visual effects.
However, the knowledge economy is driven by technological advances. And as technology is developing faster than ever before, the knowledge economy is becoming increasingly dynamic.
Yet, we are only able to participate in these global advances if we have the broadband capacity to match it.
Since 2020, with the installation of the high-speed submarine cable, the Sunshine Coast has that capacity.
At least a decade ago the Sunshine Coast council decided to “be there” and began initiatives to provide secure and fast internet access in our region.
In the last months of 2019, locals and visitors may have seen a large vessel moored off Maroochydore beach.
With the aid of excavators, winches, boats and divers, vessels like these were laying 550km of fibre-optic undersea cable, connecting the Sunshine Coast to the Japan-Guam-Australia-South submarine cable, which stretches 7000km from Australia to Guam.
Now completed, this cable provides the country’s fastest data and telecommunications transmission speeds to Asia and second fastest to the US.
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson spoke of the future at the operation’s completion ceremony.
“It’s not unlike opening a major new highway or a major new bridge, this is about connecting people, linking people, in this case, to other parts of the world,” he said.
Cr Jamieson called the cable installation a “game changer”.
The submarine cable operates via a high-tech facility in Maud Street, Maroochydore, known as the cable landing station.
From here, providers such as Legion Telecom are building high-speed data network to the region.
Richard Turnbull is head of technology and innovation at Legion Telecom, a local operation that has grown to a team of 20, providing fibre services across the Sunshine Coast.
Its network is connected to the SCIBN sub-sea cable at the Maroochydore landing station.
“We’ve constructed a fibre-to-premise network with customers already connected across the region, including Forest Glen, Sippy Downs, Birtinya, Maroochydore and Noosa,” he said.
“Construction of Legion’s network is also under way in Buderim, Alexandra Headland, Mooloolaba through to Caloundra, plus Chevallum, Palmwoods, Nambour and Peregian Beach.”
Legion Telecom director and chief operating officer Mark Paddenburg said the benefits of faster data transmission will be felt such areas as hotels, resort complexes, multi-dwelling buildings and co-working spaces with a concentration of users, as well as commercial industries and sole traders working with big files.
“Fibre is the essential backbone of all communications around the world today. Legion’s local fibre network has sufficient capacity to deliver up to 10 Gbps to end users,” he said.
Paddenburg said it was evident that regardless of whether you’re in a big city or a small town digital connectivity will rely more and more on a high-quality fibre backbone.
“Whether it’s IoT or 5G or other wireless/mesh infrastructure, the plumbing that stitches it all together across the region and across the globe is fibre,” he said.
It is this sort of connectivity that will give major data-intensive companies such as Facebook, Google, Amazon and Microsoft the opportunity to revisit the benefits of where they locate their Australian investments.
Last year, to extoll the benefits of the beach and broadband lifestyle, the Sunshine Coast Council launched its ‘Give your business a boost of Vitamin SC— Sunshine Coast!’ campaign.
The online video and ebook promotion has been met with enthusiasm from prospective interstate businesses, especially those looking for future-fast digital infrastructure for their growing global enterprises.
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