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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development and Minister for the Commonwealth Games
    The Honourable Kate Jones

    FibreCo Queensland established to deliver fast, reliable internet

    Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development and Minister for the Commonwealth Games
    The Honourable Kate Jones

    Tuesday, July 02, 2019

    FibreCo Queensland established to deliver fast, reliable internet

    The Palaszczuk Government’s plan to deliver faster, more reliable internet to businesses and homes in regional Queensland is one step closer with the establishment of FibreCo Queensland this week.

    Innovation Minister Kate Jones has officially launched FibreCo Queensland - a new state-owned entity jointly operated by Powerlink Queensland and Energy Queensland.

    “We live in the digital age. A strong, reliable internet connection is crucial when it comes to growing businesses, exporting overseas and creating jobs in Queensland. That’s what FibreCo is all about,” she said.

    “We’re unlocking thousands of kilometres of government-owned fibreoptic cable right around the state and partnering with the private sector to make this infrastructure available to ordinary Queenslanders”

    Ms Jones said currently, there were only a small number of major carriers that dominated the wholesale market in regional Queensland.

    By increasing competition in the market, and providing appropriate incentives for greater investment, Ms Jones said FibreCo Queensland would encourage better services and provide strong benefits to consumers.

    “Not only will this provide a better service for people right across our regions, it will put downward pressure on internet prices outside southeast Queensland,” Ms Jones said.

    Minister for Small Business Shannon Fentiman said today’s announcement was a win for companies across the state.

    “More than 97 per cent of Queensland businesses are small businesses, with many operating from home or generating their sales online,” she said.

     “That’s why it’s so important that we ensure small businesses have access to reliable, fast internet to support them to continue to grow and increase their business,” Ms Fentiman said. said.

    “Internet is vital to small businesses, particularly in regional Queensland – that’s why we’re establishing FibreCo to make best use of assets that are owned by the taxpayer.

    “There’s no denying that the Federal Government’s National Broadband Network has fallen short. We hope this initiative helps to pick up the slack.”

    Energy Queensland Company Secretary Jane Nant and Powerlink Chief Executive Merryn York have been appointed as Board Members.

    The appointment of FibreCo Queensland’s independent chair and independent directors will be confirmed in coming weeks.

    FibreCo Queensland will tap into spare capacity on the government-owned optical fibre network to sell backhaul services to telecommunications companies such as Retail Service Providers (RSPs) and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to large areas of regional Queensland.

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has estimated that in regional Queensland the backhaul component of costs for a telecommunications carrier offering internet is as much as 50 percent of wholesale costs, compared with only 13 percent in metropolitan areas of Australia.

    Powerlink Queensland Chief Executive Merryn York said FibreCo would provide strong benefits to consumers throughout regional Queensland.

    “Powerlink is very proud to see FibreCo established as a company,” she said.

    “We’re looking forward to establishing strong relationships with telecommunications customers to provide cost-effective backhaul in support of regional communities.”

    Energy Queensland Company Secretary Jane Nant said she was proud to be part of the board responsible for running FibreCo.

    “I’m very honoured to be Energy Queensland’s representative on the FibreCo Queensland Board.” She said.

    “FibreCo Queensland will hope to facilitate faster, more reliable internet for regional Queensland and this fits perfectly with Energy Queensland’s vision of Energising Queensland Communities.”

    Gladstone telecommunications and information technology company Quadnet Director Syed Quadri said the introduction of FibreCo Queensland would be a game-changer for regional businesses and communities.

    “For our business, FibreCo Queensland will allow us to grow and employ more people. It will also provide opportunities for a wide range of small businesses in regional Queensland,” he said.

    “Better internet speed provided through FibreCo Queensland will mean businesses can increase their overall productivity, work efficiency and the ability to use videoconferencing in remote locations.”

    Innovation Minister Kate Jones first announced plans to start FibreCo late last year.

    Today’s announcement comes after the Palaszczuk Government set aside more than $8 million over the next two years in the recent State Budget to run FibreCo Queensland.

    FibreCo Queensland will establish its office at The Precinct in Fortitude Valley from August.

    ENDS

    Media contact: 0419 620 447