State-owned backhaul provider QCN is now working with Queensland Rail “to look at opportunities to further improve digital connectivity,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk last week told the National Tech Summit. “With 2,000 kilometres of optical fibre in the rail network, combined with the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan, there is the potential to support access to nearly 20,000 kilometres of fibre to create one of the largest regional fibre networks in the nation.”
Since its 2020 commercial launch, QCN has commercialised access to some 13,000 kilometres of fibre in the Powerlink and Energy Queensland networks. Late last year the company announced it would be able to offer access to 20,000 towers across the state, courtesy of a new agreement with Powerlink, which is a 51% owner of the telco.
Queensland Rail uses its 2,000 kilometres of fibre to manage its rail network, while also making some capacity available to telcos. It also has more than 200 towers that can support colocation. Much of the Queensland Rail communications infrastructure is in regional parts of the state, and according to QCN in many cases it reaches areas outside the backhaul provider’s existing footprint. A deal between the two could help QCN deliver metro-priced services to regional communities as well as improve the resilience of the Queensland Rail, Energy Queensland and Powerlink networks.
As appeared in Communications Day – 24 July 2023 – commsday.com
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