What’s wrong with this pic­ture: wifi that’s not up to the job

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Shane Nichols

ques­tion from the floor sparked one of the most lively dis­cus­sions at the busi­ness fo­rum last week.

Sh­eryn Blund­stone, of the Penin­sula Bou­tique Ho­tel, quoted guests’ re­marks as to the very poor stan­dard of in­ter­net ser­vices to the re­gion and how much this was dam­ag­ing our tourism.

“Peo­ple who visit want to share their ex­pe­ri­ences,” she said, but try­ing to post their day’s pho­tos on­line was of­ten a frus­trat­ing ex­pe­ri­ence that elicited scathing com­ments.

Busi­ness­woman Wendy Mor­ris picked up on the is­sue, re­fer­ring to “en­abling in­fra­struc­ture” – the ma­jor projects that add to the things that a re­gion can sup­port and foster.

She said the nbn was a crit­i­cal part of this in­fra­struc­ture.

Tourism was our win­dow to the world, and the nbn would mean that the global mar­ket­place be­came “our mar­ket­place, it means we can di­ver­sify and en­richen our ta­pes­try to not only tourism but a range of other in­dus­tries and grow the mar­ket­place”.

Ac­cess to free wifi and in­ter­net con­nec­tions in gen­eral are a se­ri­ous im­ped­i­ment to our re­gion’s suc­cess, the ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of TDPP, Tara Ben­nett, later told the Gazette.

“TPDD sur­veys visi­tors and the great­est is­sue they iden­tify that im­pacts their ex­pe­ri­ence while here is the lim­ited avail­abil­ity of free wifi,” Ms Ben­nett said. “Ad­vo­cacy of visi­tors while in re­gion is a pow­er­ful pro­mo­tional tool that we of­ten can­not har­ness due the lack of free wifi. Imag­ine the so­cial me­dia posts that would be made from Rex Look­out, the Dain­tree ferry or Moss­man Gorge if there was free wifi.

“Flow­ing on from this, op­er­a­tors through­out the re­gion and more par­tic­u­larly in the Dain­tree are work­ing with sub­stan­dard in­ter­net speeds .

“The nbn roll­out is not hap­pen­ing quickly enough, re­sult­ing in low­ered busi­ness ef­fi­ciency. We des­per­ately need ac­cess to in­ter­net speeds that are stan­dard in most parts of Aus­tralia.”

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