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City puts pedal to digital metal


A revolutionary new high-speed internet initiative in Lake Macquarie promises to provide online connection speeds of one gigabyte a second and beyond.

Lake Macquarie City Council has partnered with telecommunications provider TPG for a Hunter-first ‘Fibre City’ program – a high-performance fibre-optic data network, providing internet connections up to 24 times faster than the national average.

The council’s Chief Information Officer, Alexis Hill, said the network was already available in Charlestown’s commercial precinct, with a second stage underway in Cardiff’s retail centre and the nearby Cardiff industrial estate through to Boolaroo, along the new Munibung Road extension.

“We will also be looking at introducing the Fibre City network to other parts of our city as demand and need arises,” Ms Hill said.

Despite continuing roll-out of the National Broadband Network, Australia fell to 68th place this year in the annual global internet speed rankings.

Ms Hill said a Fibre City connection lifted businesses above and beyond their competitors – not just in Australia but anywhere in the world.

The connection is more than six times faster than average speeds in Singapore – which holds the global No.1 title.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the importance of the internet and fast digital connections in today’s business world,” Ms Hill said.

“Fibre City will allow companies to migrate in-house applications to cloud-based services, increase business efficiency and employee productivity and make use of modern, unified collaboration tools and video conferencing.

“This network will support our community’s increasing data demands, now and into the future.”

Dedicated fibre-optic connections mean users won’t compete with other people for bandwidth, regardless of time of day or online demand.

Based on a 48-month contract, access starts at $799 a month for businesses.

Ms Hill said the price was “considerably lower” than similar 1Gbps plans on offer.

She added that, where existing fibre and conduit were available, there would be no cost for most customers to connect.

“Only the monthly use charge will be payable, making Lake Macquarie a highly-attractive location for business people to grow a new venture or relocate an existing business” she said.

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