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Queensland farms destined for better efficiencies and growth thanks to AgTech solutions

16 September 2020

A Queensland owned and operated licensed telecommunications carrier providing connectivity solutions to regional, rural and remote communities in Australia and New Zealand is set to help more of the state’s farmers adopt agricultural technology solutions (AgTech) to improve efficiency and profitability and achieve growth.

Connected Farms Co-Founder and CEO Tom Andrews said his own Gold Coast based company, as well as farmers and rural Queensland businesses would greatly benefit from the roll-out of better and more affordable internet through the state government-owned QCN Fibre.

QCN Fibre is a new telecommunications company jointly owned by Powerlink Queensland and Energy Queensland, formed to help regional business development by using spare fibre optic cabling and selling this “backhaul” capacity to providers on a wholesale basis.

The backhaul cabling – high-capacity lines that transmit between sites or to a central point – is being made available to carry internet and data services at capacities up to 100Gbs, for businesses and residences.

Mr Andrews said farmers who improve coverage over their land with a Connected Farms network can not only grow their business by introducing AgTech to increase production efficiencies, but can also use real time data with their agronomists and produce trades and implement distribution chain provenance to provide paddock to plate information to end users.

“Connectivity is required to enable advances in agricultural focussed technologies that operate via the cloud to be implemented to increase productivity on farms.

“Use of these applications on farms will enable better efficiency in production and better communication across farms and the agriculture sector,” he said.

Mr Andrews said better internet would also allow regional Queensland to compete on a level playing field to its urban-based counterparts and offer its products and services on the global stage.

“Regional Queensland has such a diverse range of industries that can benefit from better internet, from primary producers to tourism, agritourism, telehealth and education.

“Improving connectivity will ensure growth of all of these sectors within regional areas, and also serves to attract new businesses and residents, further increasing the long-term growth and health of small towns,” Mr Andrews said.

Mr Andrews concluded that improved connectivity would also ensure a greater degree of connectedness between rural and remote communities, with positive mental health outcomes and lifestyle benefits.