Queensland allocates $8m for FibreCo project
The Queensland Government has allocated more than $8 million in the newest budget for its project to improve the availability of fibre connectivity in regional areas of the state.
The new state budget sets aside funding over two years for the operation of FibreCo Qld, the state-owned entity established to open access to the government’s fibre assets to the telecoms industry.
FibreCo Qld will be jointly owned by Powerlink Queensland and Energy Queensland, and will utilise 6000 km of state-owned fibre along the east coast of the state.
The company will use the spare capacity on this fibre to sell backhaul services to telcos, including retail and internet service providers, to help them offer improved connectivity to residences and businesses in regional areas of the state.
The project will span areas including Toowoomba, Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville and Cairns.
“FibreCo is about providing better internet for regional Queensland and putting downward pressure on prices. This will create jobs in regional Queensland but also help small businesses to grow,” Innovation Minister Kate Jones said.
“We recognise that it’s impossible to run a successful small business in some parts of the state without a strong, reliable internet connection. That’s why we’re introducing this Australian first to give Queensland businesses a leg up.”
The $8 million in funding forms part of the $224.5 million allocated to the Department of Innovation, Tourism Industry Development and the Commonwealth Games in the new budget.
Other significant funding commitments include $15 million over seven years to establish a Defence Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for drones.
“Through our partnership with Boeing and the federal government, we’ll boast one of the world’s most cutting-edge design and research facilities for drones. This approach will leverage millions of dollars in investment from industry and research partners and will create highly skilled jobs in Queensland,” Jones said.
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