VIDEO: Council's undersea cable proposal for business boom
A GIANT undersea broadband cable will connect the Sunshine Coast directly with global communications systems if a proposal by the Sunshine Coast Council is successful.
Business leaders interrupted Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson with whooping and applause at the Innovation Centre in Sippy Downs yesterday when he said the first step in the process - a submission to the Australian Communications and Media Authority - had been made.
The submission proposed a cable protection zone be established off the Sunshine Coast. The zone would enable the private sector to deliver the project, Cr Jamieson said.
If the cable protection zone was granted and the cable delivered, the Sunshine Coast would be the only regional centre in Australia able to offer a direct international broadband connection to global markets.
"The Sunshine Coast would then be the closest digital connection point in Australia to the leading markets of Asia and the United States," Cr Jamieson said.
Australia's five existing international cable connections are in Sydney and Perth and carry the bulk of the country's internet traffic.
The Coast was the best possible location for a new cable "landing point" on the eastern seaboard, taking into account topography and the marine environment, Cr Jamieson said.
"If this protection zone is achieved and the cable delivered, the shape of the region's economy and our attractiveness to new businesses will change profoundly - and forever.
"It will provide milliseconds of advantage and significantly improved speed and bandwidth from Queensland - all from the Sunshine Coast."
For banking and finance, digital solutions developers and any business that was heavily dependent on online transactions, milliseconds were precious.
Securing an international telecommunications cable would fundamentally change the nature of high-tech industry on the Sunshine Coast and south-east Queensland for generations, Sunshine Coast Economic Futures board member Andrew Pitcher said.
"Sunshine Coast wants to be a technology hub and centre for innovation," Mr Pitcher said.
"This proposal fits perfectly into that strategy."
Cr Jamieson said he hoped the Coast community would look back on yesterday as the day the Sunshine Coast's transition into a digital economy "really commenced".
The impact of the proposal was independently modelled by AEC group. It forecast an additional $700 million would be injected into the Coast's economy every year and $1.1 billion into the Queensland economy.
To make a submission to ACMA, email subcables email@example.com.