Chamber forges on despite setback
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.”