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Business innovation and productivity for Maroochy thanks to Clever Networks.



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Senator the Hon Helen Coonan Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate

Media Release

Media Contact: Katherine Meier 0417 441 141

www.minister.dcita.gov.au

Friday 7 September 2007

Business innovation and productivity for Maroochy thanks to Clever Networks

The Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator the Hon Helen Coonan today announced $2.9 million in funding for the Maroochy Shire Council to facilitate business innovation and productivity and increase service delivery options.

“The Australian Government’s Clever Networks program will foster regional development through the supply of broadband in the Sunshine Coast region at metropolitan prices for organisations in the health, research, small business and education sectors.

“The project will use a mix of optical fibre cable, two new network points of presence, a number of new wireless base stations and the roll-out of a new 155Mbps additional backhaul link between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.

“The network will also offer open access to a number of carriers within the coverage area. These access conditions will drive broadband growth and support product innovation through the introduction of a competitive market environment.”

Senator Coonan said the fibre roll out will link the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) into the AARNet national research network.

“Students will be able to sit in on virtual lectures, participate in online learning environments and tap into AARNet research and networking capabilities.

“For example, a student living in a remote location may be able to podcast University lectures and link into class discussions via video-conference.

The infrastructure deployed through this project will support the growth of the rapidly expanding Sippy Downs education and knowledge precinct, which also includes the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast and proposed Technology Park.

The project will provide the ICT Learning Innovation Centre, which has provided professional development services for 10,000 teachers over the past 12 months, with the bandwidth that they require to support video-conferencing, media streaming and voice-over-IP services.

Senator Coonan said the benefits of this project also extend to the secondary education sector.

“As a result of the funding, 4000 students in schools within the Sippy Downs Education Precinct area, including the Sienna Catholic College, Chancellor State College and Matthew Flinders Anglican College, will have greater access to wireless broadband connectivity and broadband applications.”

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This initiative builds on the Sunshine Coast Regional Organisation of Councils project that was funded in 2005 under the Australian Government’s community-based Demand Aggregation Broker program to drive viable and sustainable broadband infrastructure capabilities for the Sunshine Coast.

Maroochy Shire Council in partnership with Allegro Networks Pty Ltd and the University of the Sunshine Coast will provide matching funding $3.4 million.

Clever Networks is a $113 million Australian Government program that will see improved delivery of services in regional, rural and remote Australia through innovative broadband projects. Clever Networks is part of the $1.1. billion Connect Australia package, that provides a platform for investment in next generation broadband infrastructure.

More information about Clever Networks is available at www.dcita.gov.au/clevernetworks