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Better internet will help create 50 new disability support jobs in Wide Bay Burnett region

16 September 2020

A Bundaberg-based disability support service provider is set to better service existing clients and expand its offerings to reach out to more people living with disabilities thanks to improved and better priced internet.

Community Lifestyle Support CEO Damian Tracey said his company empowers people in the Wide Bay Burnett Region with disabilities to live a lifestyle of their choice.

“We have 270 staff who deliver a professional, reliable service to meet the needs of the individual and promote positive awareness and understanding of disabilities within the wider community,” Mr Tracey said.

Mr Tracey said the region’s poor connectivity directly impacts the organisation’s capacity to service clients and grow the business.

“We are currently relying on a fixed wireless connection pointing to a congested tower,” Mr Tracey said.

Mr Tracey said improved internet connectivity would enable his organisation to add 50 new staff over the next two years to expand the company’s services and at the same time provide staff with improved access to critical client information.

“Most of our staff work remotely and our internet is so poor that we are unable to use online video meeting facilities and reliably access information stored in the cloud.

“Improved and reliable internet would mean we could kick all our services to the cloud and pursue a process of automation and growth,” he said.

This improved connectivity will come to the region thanks to QCN Fibre.

QCN Fibre is a Queensland Government telecommunications company jointly owned by Powerlink Queensland and Energy Queensland, with a mission to improve regional connectivity through leveraging spare telecommunication capacity in government-owned fibre networks.

QCN Fibre Chief Executive Officer Derek Merdith said the state government owned about 10,000 kilometres of fibre-optic cabling which wasn’t being used to its capacity and that spare capacity was being made available to carry business and residential internet and data services at capacities of up to 100 gigabits per second.

“We’re enabling Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to offer their customers much better backhaul capacity and internet speeds, up to 10 times faster than existing offerings, at prices equivalent to those in the city,” Mr Merdith said.

“In Bundaberg, QCN Fibre will also connect its backhaul fibre to the NBN point of interconnect.

“This will mean ISPs will have access to a third backhaul provider – not just Telstra and Optus – allowing them to buy cheaper backhaul to pass on the saving to local customers,” Mr Merdith said.