NBN fu­ture all cloudy

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - LOOKING BACK -

THE open meet­ing of the Cham­ber of Com­merce last week was well at­tended and by any stan­dard quite a suc­cess.

Straight off the bat the cham­ber pro­duced a strong draw­card – a Tel­stra spokesman who would talk about in­ter­net and mo­bile phone is­sues in our area. It’s a hot topic in our re­gion of course, es­pe­cially for busi­nesses.

Mark Proc­tor ex­plained the lim­i­ta­tions of the “con­tended” type of ser­vice of the most used in­ter­net tech­nol­ogy, ADSL. The greater band­width of the NBN would im­prove in­ter­net pro­duc­tiv­ity sig­nif­i­cantly but as data traf­fic is now dou­bling ev­ery year, then this too would hit a bot­tle­neck “even­tu­ally”.

What he pointed to is the cloud, which in­volves the use of servers that are ef­fec­tively sep­a­rate from the in­ter­net. It of­fers bet­ter, with good up­load and down­load speeds and ca­pac­ity, but it comes at a price – about $400 a month for this eth­er­net lite ser­vice. Tel­stra builds ac­cess for each cus­tomer.

Mr Proc­tor then dis­cussed mo­bile phone tech­nol­ogy and the news here was a bit brighter – the 4GX band now avail­able in Port Dou­glas will be im­proved when a new tower is built at “a Four Mile Beach site”. It would take some of the load off ex­ist­ing base sta­tions and im­prove cov­er­age. It should be here by the end of the year.

None of what he said did much to quell the anger among lo­cal cus­tomers.

One thing that may help busi­ness op­er­a­tors is to have a Tel­stra “health check” of their cur­rent com­mu­ni­ca­tions set up to see if there are bet­ter so­lu­tions on of­fer.

This week on Port FM the mayor re­ferred to the frus­tra­tion in the com­mu­nity about the lack of progress with the NBN for Port Dou­glas. She sees the fed­eral elec­tion pe­riod as a time to push this is­sue harder with the likes of lo­cal mem­ber War­ren Entsch.

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