Connecting Central QLD

Central Queensland NBN Local Team (from L-R): Rick Hospers, Emma Murphy, and Mick Allen.

With the restrictions of Covid-19 being eased, connecting both in person and digitally has never been more important for communities and business alike.

nbn has a key role to play in providing wholesale broadband services and infrastructure to connect not only Central Queensland communities, but connect Central Queensland to global opportunities and the digital economy.

I had the chance to catch up with Mick Allen, the newly appointed Community Engagement Manager for nbn Local, who also happens to be a resident of the local community for the past 18 years.

Q: Mick, tell us a little about yourself?

A: Thanks Pete. I have been in CQ for the past 18 years, having moved to Yeppoon from NSW with my wife and two boys. Since moving we have been involved in the community through playing a few sports and coaching juniors. I have been lucky enough to have worked across CQ in the fields of town planning, engineering, underground mining, construction, state government, environmental management, and manufacturing. CQ’s a wonderful place to live and bring up a family.

Q: So, what made you join nbn Local?

A: Through my roles I saw that the distances across CQ made it difficult to take full advantage of the community and industry opportunities. Globalisation has allowed regional businesses and communities to connect and provide services across the globe. Covid-19 also highlighted the need for sovereign capability and to do that you need to be able to connect within your own community, as well as the broader regional and Australian communities, to access local and global information and supply chains. I wanted to be part of the solution and nbn afforded the opportunity for me to think global and act local.

Q: How much of CQ do you cover?

A: The nbn Local CQ team consists of myself, Rick Hospers (Business Lead) and Emma Murphy (Community Ambassador) who are both based in Mackay. With Rick and Emma, we cover the local government areas of Whitsunday, Mackay, Isaac, Barcaldine, Blackall-Tambo, Longreach, Winton, Boulia, Woorabinda, Rockhampton, Livingstone, and Central Highlands.

Q: What technology is available through nbn to support the regional communities?

A: nbn uses a Multi Technology Mix to deliver broadband services across Australia, including Fixed Line (fibre), Fixed Wireless, and Satellite. Across CQ there are a mix of technologies including fibre to the node, fibre to the premise, fibre to the building or a hybrid fibre coaxial cable. There are various levels of wholesale access speeds that retail service providers use to supply broadband services to both residential and businesses, such as enterprise ethernet for businesses. Outside of townships the technology generally transfers to fixed wireless or our satellite service, which is called Sky Muster. Upload and download speeds# range depending on the service provider the end customer chooses.

Q: Are there any developments or announcements you can share with us?

A: There are some great developments happening across our region. I can say that with the support of the Central and Western Queensland Regional Development Authority and CQUniversity, we are developing Digital Plans for our region. This will help in allowing local governments to lobby for funding for infrastructure and upgrades. The CQ team will be out in Longreach, Boulia, and Alpha later this year to hold information sessions on the nbn technology on the way for rural and remote areas – I can’t say too much but come along to our sessions to find out more. I am happy for anyone to contact me as well to see where we can help visit our website at: Home | nbn (nbnco.com.au) or contact me via email at: michaelallen2@nbnco.com.au