Ham­strung by in­ter­net

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Scott Tib­balls

THE Dou­glas Cham­ber of Com­merce has backed up its push for im­proved net­work con­nec­tiv­ity and fu­ture-proof­ing of the lo­cal NBN roll­out in Dou­glas Shire with a raft of lo­cal busi­nesses that are negatively af­fected by poor in­ter­net.

With huge in­creases in visitor numbers, cham­ber pres­i­dent He­len De Ross stressed the im­por­tance of pro­vid­ing in­ter­net con­nec­tiv­ity equal to that of ma­jor cities in the sub­mis­sion for Le­ich­hardt MP War­ren Entsch to take to Can­berra.

Mul­ti­ple lo­cal busi­ness are cited in­clud­ing a real es­tate agent that some­times has to have doc­u­ments couri­ered from Cairns and a reef op­er­a­tor that is look­ing into us­ing satel­lite tech­nol­ogy be­tween Cairns and Port Dou­glas to cir­cum­vent the in­ad­e­quate con­nec­tion.

“We of­ten hear that ‘tourism is the new min­ing’ with Cairns and Port Dou­glas ranked three and four be­hind Mel­bourne and Syd­ney in many re­cent tourism polls,” said Ms De Ross in the sub­mis­sion.

“This level of growth re­quires a matched level of in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment in or­der for this growth to be sus­tain­able.

“Ef­fec­tive in­ter­net and mo­bile con­nec­tion are ba­sics for all busi­ness to op­er­ate. We look to­ward in­no­va­tion and new tech­nolo­gies, how­ever this re­gion is se­verely lack­ing in ba­sic com­mu­ni­ca­tion in­fra­struc­ture,” states the sub­mis­sion.

“It is un­ac­cept­able for a re­gion with a high level tourism in­dus­try, pre­mium global brand that is highly sought af­ter to have in­fra­struc­ture of a small re­gional vil­lage.”

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