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Some great news for Queensland’s regional businesses struggling to get fast and reliable internet access to overseas markets.

Thanks to a major Queensland Government initiative, regional businesses are set to get high-speed internet access to Asia and the United States.

Innovation Minister Kate Jones recently announced QCN Fibre will be to connecting up to the undersea Japan-Guam-Australia South Cable System (JGA South Submarine Cable) via the Sunshine Coast International Broadband Submarine Cable.

QCN Fibre CEO Derek Merdith said “access to the undersea fibre-optic cable would enable QCN Fibre to deliver key benefits to Queensland regional telecommunications consumers.

“It means Queensland is the first-ever fibre optic cable on Australia’s east coast, offering essential diversity and up to 18 terabits of capacity between Queensland and key destinations in Asia and the US.

“This is also the first time in Australia’s history that critical network diversity between Queensland and Sydney will be provided by an undersea cable. This is long overdue as this type of network protection is not only important for global businesses, who demand additional security, but Queenslanders who now have a direct connection to global businesses while bringing historic network protection.

“Once the undersea-cable station is operational, the Sunshine Coast will provide the fastest international connection point from Queensland and east Australia to key destinations in Asia and the United States, including Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Guam. Also critical for Australia’s businesses, as well as our protection, is JGA South’s diverse path between Maroochydore and Sydney. Speed and diversity are not only essential to economic prosperity, but they’re also critical to our nation’s security. Queensland has both.

“It’s very important that regional businesses don’t miss out on the opportunities that are offered by fast and reliable internet connection to global markets. By hooking up to international undersea cable connections, we are putting our regional businesses on a solid footing. This is an unprecedented step-change to attract investment to the state and sets the stage for longer-term growth.” Mr Merdith said.

Construction was completed late last year on the $6.6 million cable landing station. The station is the major land-based facility for Queensland’s $35 million international broadband submarine cable network.

With 550km of undersea fibre optic cable, the Sunshine Coast Cable Landing Station will connect to the existing 7000km JGA South Submarine Cable and onward to key cities that serve as neutral Internet hubs including Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Los Angeles, among others.

RTI Connectivity CEO Russell Matulich applauded this historic achievement stating, “Recent events have forever changed how we work and live. Everyone is seeing firsthand how reliant we are on undersea fibre optic cables. The Queensland Government’s foresight to look to digital infrastructure for its future growth is exceptionally well timed. The investment in an international broadband submarine cable network rivals or exceeds any across the country and puts Queensland squarely on the global map of key undersea cable connection points.”

QCN’s mission is to improve regional connectivity through leveraging spare telecommunication capacity in government-owned fibre networks.

Since its establishment last year, QCN Fibre has made significant steps towards increasing regional access to high-speed internet fibre.

QCN Fibre partners with local internet service providers (ISPs), as well as the major carriers, in regional Queensland to enable them to offer their customers much better backhaul capacity and internet speeds up to ten times faster than existing offerings and at very competitive pricing.

The Queensland Government is providing $15 million for the Sunshine Coast International Broadband Submarine Cable network.

The JGA South consortium includes AARNet, Google and Singaporean businesses headquartered at RTI Connectivity, which is laying the transpacific cable network.


Media Release – 3 April 2020 – Cable Landing Station QCN Release

Media Contact – Anne Wilson