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QCN gets the Green Light to Deliver Improved Services to the Mackay Regional Council Area

Friday, 3 June 2022, Brisbane, Queensland – QCN reaffirmed its commitment to providing fast, effective telecommunications to regional Queensland, confirming that it has been awarded Australian Government funding under Round 2 of the Regional Connectivity Program for solutions in the Mackay Regional Council area. The funding allows QCN, in partnership with Channel Wireless, to deliver a fixed wireless infrastructure at each township of Finch Hatton, Pinnacle, Gargett, Eungella and the surrounding areas of Marian and Mirani in the western region of the Mackay Regional Council area. These towns currently only have access to nbnTM Fixed Wireless coverage with extremely poor speeds for downloads and uploads. The new solution will effectively provide a ten-fold increase in digital speeds within and surrounding these towns.

This funding will benefit more than 4,500 residents, 1,550 households, small to medium-sized businesses, schools, council offices and government services such as Ambulance, Police and Health Centres by providing substantively improved network speeds compared with the existing nbnTM fixed service.

Mackay Canegrowers noted, in a letter to QCN, the “…lack of digital connectivity, including both coverage and capacity, across the region is impacting the ability for community members to connect to information and networks for the purpose of business and community activities. Feedback from community members and business owners in the Pioneer Valley confirms the daily impacts the lack of digital connectivity has on the operation of businesses, schools (in class and home schooling) and community activities.”

This new tranche of funding allows for the extension of QCN’s fibre backhaul network and new wireless facilities, including tower structures, RAN cabinets, fencing, concrete pads, power supply and distribution, to be built in each town to enable wireless broadband services ranging from 100Mbps to 1,000Mbps, to businesses and residents of the rural Mackay region.

“The lack of consistent and fast connectivity and infrastructure will always create a digital divide,” says QCN’s Chief Executive Officer, Derek Merdith. “We are committed to bridging that divide for regional communities and increasing productivity, connectivity, and opportunities for the people and businesses in the region. We are already witnessing the excitement of the local communities in Bluff, Duaringa, and Dingo who are benefiting from QCN’s project under Round 1 of the Australian Government’s Regional Connectivity Program.”

The Australian Government has awarded a further $5.4M in Round 2 to QCN after an initial allocation of $3.754M under Round 1 of the Regional Connectivity Program. QCN will also directly contribute $600,000 towards the Round 2 project in Mackay, taking the total value of the project to over $6M.

Mackay Regional Council acting CEO Angela Hays said council was delighted residents and businesses would be provided with improved digital connectivity.

“The benefits to the community will be both economic and social, with better access to essential services, improved education opportunities and potential for businesses to grow and meet increasing customer needs,” she said. “We are pleased that through the partnership with QCN and Channel Wireless we can improve our services to the community and keep in step with our urban counterparts.”

QCN is committed to delivering solutions to improve telecommunications coverage, capacity and competition to Queensland and today’s announcement is one further significant step in the right direction. Through improving digital connectivity in the regions, QCN is supporting investment, jobs, and growth for Queensland.


For further information please contact:

Emily Kucukalic
+61 403 931 360

About QCN

QCN’s mission is to improve regional connectivity through leveraging spare telecommunications capacity of government-owned assets.

Through delivering real solutions of improved telecommunications Coverage, Capacity and Competition, QCN enables Queenslanders to take advantage of their exceptional opportunities in the emerging economy.

QCN is jointly owned by Powerlink and Energy Queensland, who are Queensland Government owned Corporations, with the express goal to ‘Back our Regions to Compete Globally’.

Our network utilises the optical fibre networks of Powerlink and Energy Queensland and spans more than 13,000 kilometres of fibre stretching West from Brisbane to Toowoomba and beyond, and North through regional townships up to Cairns.

We provide carrier-grade backhaul services to other Carriers and Internet and Retail Service Providers that deliver increased data capacity through unlocking unused capacity on these established state of the art, stable, optical networks.

Our operations improve regional connectivity through increasing competition and supporting new investment and jobs in regional Queensland.