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Fibre optic cable could plug Coast into Asian economy

Fibre optic is considered the fastest internet solution at present.
Fibre optic is considered the fastest internet solution at present.

PLANS to plug the Sunshine Coast directly into an international submarine fibre optic cable could be the answer to resetting the region's economy to embrace Asia.

Sunshine Coast-based GeoNexus hopes to start construction late next year on a project executive director Steve Robinson, who attended Sunshine Coast Business Council forum, said would digitally place the region right next door to major Asian trading centres.

Mr Robinson said he has already held talks with a large global software company looking to relocate.

Other high wealth, high employee income companies were also interested.

He said the infrastructure would have the potential to service not only a raft of digital businesses such as the likes of Google and Facebook but also low-latency, high-frequency global financial traders for whom milliseconds meant millions.

Pre-feasibility on the project was already well advanced with positive talks ongoing with all levels of government.

Mr Robinson, who has lived on the Sunshine Coast for the past 15 years, said the project's ability to reset the region's economy to one which offered high paying jobs should not be underestimated.

It would provide the catalyst to attract global investment here and not just in the digital economy.

And it may yet provide the spark to drive commitment to key infrastructure projects including the Bruce Highway and airport upgrades and a coastal light rail system.

"We are not far from competing our pre-feasibility,'' Mr Robinson said.

"We've been told a full, bankable and audited feasibility would be seen favourably in the private equity market.''

The project aims to connect the Sunshine Coast to a junction point 150km off Moreton Island in an International Submarine Fibre Optic cable that travels 6900km from Sydney to Guam.

The cable would come ashore on the southern Sunshine Coast and link with a data centre facility where a number of sites have been identified, including one potentially located in the Sippy Downs university precinct.

Mr Robinson said while funding for the scheme would come from private equity investment planning and environmental approvals would need to be worked through with all levels of government.

Topics:  broadband economy fibre optic cable internet sunshine coast business council sunshine coast regional council


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