Communities in the Gympie and South Burnett regions are set to benefit from increased internet speeds and better mobile coverage, thanks to Queensland’s renewable energy transition and cornerstone Borumba Pumped Hydro project.
The Palaszczuk Government, through Powerlink and its subsidiary QCN, have committed $500,000 to complete investigation works to upgrade internet and mobile blackspots across the Gympie and South Burnett regions through the SuperGrid Telecommunications Program.
This investment will benefit communities as part of the transmission connections for the Borumba Pumped Hydro Project.
Fibre optic cables will be strung along the top-most wires of the transmission lines, bringing faster internet speeds to families and businesses along both the Borumba to Woolooga and Borumba to Halys transmission corridors.
Where mobile blackspots have been identified, mobile towers will be attached to transmission towers to enhance mobile coverage.
Investigation works along the proposed transmission corridors will commence in early 2024. Construction of the transmission line infrastructure is due to commence in 2025.
Initial research shows that homes and businesses around Kilkivan, Jimna and Manumbar are likely to see the biggest benefit of this investment.
This is an early example of an opportunity for regional Queensland communities to benefit as part of the delivery of the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan.
The SuperGrid Telecommunications Program aims to boost internet speeds by up to 100 times in regional townships and provide vastly improved mobile phone coverage to homes and businesses in Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) areas, and across the footprint of Queensland’s SuperGrid.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen, Mick de Brenni:
“This project shows Queenslanders that where the energy transition goes, local benefits will flow.
“The Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan is delivering cleaner, cheaper and more secure energy, but we’re impacting many facets of day to day life, and doing business, plus delivering real benefits in regional communities.
“Many communities in regional Queensland are currently on satellite which is costly and has extremely poor speeds, but the Supergrid means we can deliver a real boost to local businesses and households.
“Investing in infrastructure to deliver high speed internet and improved mobile coverage is just another way the Palaszczuk Government’s Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan in delivering for regional Queensland.”
Quotes attributable to Powerlink Chief Executive, Paul Simshauser:
“Mobile blackspots and slow internet speeds has been a consistent theme we have heard from local landholders as part of our ongoing engagement on the project.
“With new infrastructure being developed to connect the Borumba Pumped Hydro Project to the grid, we saw an opportunity for Powerlink, working with QCN, to enable vastly improved internet and mobile phone coverage to the region.
“QCN was formed as a subsidiary of Powerlink and Energy Queensland in early 2020 to use existing fibre optic cables on electricity infrastructure to deliver fast and effective digital services to regional Queensland.
“QCN will now look at the feasibility of leveraging the new transmission infrastructure to deliver tangible, long-term benefits to the region.
“We’d consider this a win-win for the region, and its many residents and businesses, which will bring investment, jobs and growth.”
Quotes attributable to QCN Chief Executive Officer, Derek Merdith:
“The lack of consistent and fast connectivity and infrastructure in specific regional areas will always create a digital divide.
“We are committed to bridging that divide for regional communities and increasing productivity, connectivity, and opportunities for the people and businesses in the region.
“Using Powerlink’s new tower infrastructure, QCN will seek to dramatically improve and expand telecommunications services to underserviced areas like these in regional Queensland.
“Since its inception in early 2020, QCN has driven a ten-fold increase in delivered capacity across the combined 13,000 kilometre fibre networks of Energy Queensland and Powerlink. This latest announcement allows QCN to leverage existing Government infrastructure to once again benefit regional communities.”
Find out more information about our Borumba Pumped Hydro Transmission Connection Project.
Read more about our SuperGrid Telecommunications Program.