Hamstrung by internet
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.”