Switch on of NBN to kick-start economic revival of CBD
THE Ipswich CBD has entered the high-speed internet age with the NBN fibre optic network switched on this week.
The switch on is predicted to make the Ipswich CBD an attractive prospect for businesses and continue the CBD's revival.
The area covered by the network includes the city's major sites including the mall, Ipswich Hospital and court house, Icon Ipswich and St Andrew's Hospital.
More suburbs on the edge of the CBD are on the cusp of connection. NBN Co began work in Wood End, Coalfalls and West Ipswich 12 months ago.
Building preparation has begun at the Ipswich UQ Campus and in Churchill and Yamanto.
NBN Co spokesperson Ryan Williams said the roll-out of the high-speed internet was ongoing in the Ipswich region with 9500 homes already able to connect.
"Construction has commenced in to build the NBN to further 4000 homes and businesses in Ipswich and surrounding suburbs including Bundamba and Goodna," he said.
"The goal of the National Broadband Network (NBN) is to provide access to fast, affordable and reliable broadband to Australians - including families and business owners in Ipswich and surrounding suburbs.
"On average it takes around 12 months from the start of construction until residents and business owners can access services over the NBN from phone companies and internet providers."
Metro Hotel general manager Earl Muir said the NBN would make his hotel an attractive location for business conferences.
The hotel's facilities are already popular among the business community, but NBN connectivity would make it more appealing, he believes.
"That would be of significant benefit to us because we have a lot of business and conference clients," he said.
"Last week we had an approach for a conference of 110 people who each needed to log onto our wi-fi.
"It's a big deal for us. We recently started offering in house wi-fi to our guests and that would mean a lot to have it for our guests."
Ipswich City Councillor Andrew Antoniolli said the NBN was the most important construction of infrastructure Ipswich has seen for decades.
"It makes the CBD very attractive for further developments and that is the difference between the A-Grade NBN and the B-Grade," he said.
"I would put this down as the most significant piece of infrastructure to go into the CBD since sewage and running water."
Blair MP Shayne Neumann said the NBN should give the CBD a welcome kick-start for business investment.
"Ipswich city needs a real shot in the arm and the NBN will deliver it," he said.
"It's a policy of the former Labor Government being rolled out across the Ipswich CBD."