Cham­ber forges on de­spite set­back

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Scott Tib­balls

THE Dou­glas Cham­ber of Com­merce’s push for bet­ter in­ter­net has hit a snag, with the Min­is­ter for Com­mu­ni­ca­tions dis­miss­ing their plea.

A cham­ber sub­mis­sion, taken to Min­is­ter Fi­field by lo­cal mem­ber War­ren Entsch, pushed for Dou­glas Shire to be con­sid­ered for Fi­bre to the Premises (FTP) in­stead of Fi­bre to the Node (FTN) which is be­ing rolled out through­out Aus­tralia.

In the sub­mis­sion cham­ber pres­i­dent He­len De Ross said “while we ap­pre­ci­ate roll­out of NBN fi­bre to node in Port Dou­glas and Moss­man be­gin­ning in Fe­bru­ary 2017, in or­der to fu­ture-proof our in­fra­struc­ture we re­quest up­grad­ing this roll­out to fi­bre to premises. FTP net­work will negate is­sues with traf­fic es­pe­cially dur­ing school hol­i­days, where Port Dou­glas is ex­cep­tion­ally busy.”

How­ever, speak­ing at a cham­ber event last Thurs­day Ms De Ross said Min­is­ter Fi­field had dis­missed the re­quest.

“While he was sym­pa­thetic to our prob­lems, he strongly be­lieves the NBN Fi­bre to the Node will solve our is­sues,” said Ms De Ross.

Speak­ing to the later, Ms De Ross said it wasn’t the end of the cham­ber’s cru­sade for bet­ter in­ter­net.

“It would help if the min­is­ter was on our side, but I think he gen­uinely be­lieves FTN will fix ev­ery­thing.

“The last thing I want to do is wait an­other year when NBN is here to find that there are still prob­lems. And we know what will hap­pen be- cause the ar­eas that have NBN still have prob­lems.”

Ms De Ross ex­plained that a new push would be to seek a meet­ing or dis­cus­sion be­tween War­ren Entsch, Mitch Fi­field, rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the State Cham­ber of Com­merce, her­self, and her Cairns Cham­ber of Com­merce Deb Han­cock.

Through that meet­ing Ms De Ross wants to ar­gue for a so­lu­tion on an­other as­pect of con­nec­tiv­ity – be­ing the Cairns to Bris­bane con­nec­tion, which Ms De Ross says is a huge part of the prob­lem.

The net­work, which is Tel­stra-con­trolled, is on­sold to ser­vice providers at an “in­flated rate than those in Bris­bane, Mel­bourne and Syd­ney. ISP’s have to flood the net­work to make any profit.”

Ms De Ross ex­plained that the ac­cept­able ca­pac­ity for clients to con­nect to ‘in­ter­cept points’ was 80 clients to one in­ter­cept, but be­cause of the in­flated rates, ISPs would con­nect 400 clients to one point to make a profit. “This chokes the net­work and has a flow-on ef­fect to all of us.”

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