Australian IT – Surfers paradise for teleworkers (Chris Jenkins, MAY 06, 2003)

Now here’s some news that’s close to home!

PROPERTY developer Delfin Lend Lease has teamed with IT services company Silver Communities in a $1 billion broadband wired residential and business project on Queensland’s Gold Coast that could provide the blueprint for up to 21 similar developments around the country.

The Varsity Lakes development will be home to as many as 2000 residents, 30 businesses and a high school, all feeding off a 155Mbps pipe supplied by PowerTel.

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Bandwidth is distributed by Silver Communities’ point of presence and fibre cabling plumbed throughout the buildings.

The product is aimed at the teleworkers and small business owners expected to populate the development.

Silver Communities managing director Bruce Barclay said the project would require about 200 customers to be commercially viable.

But he said they expected to have more than 200 customers using the service by this time next year.

Mr Barclay would not reveal the total cost of the project, but said the company had spent more than half a million dollars on physical infrastructure in the project. As well as symmetric internet services, Silver Communities will provide IP telephony services and is considering video-on-demand.

Mr Barclay said video-on-demand was dependent on reaching a licensing agreement on programming, and a partnership with a video shop chain was one option.

Mr Barclay said an alternative copper infrastructure had been provided within the development.

This would be owned by the community and made available to other carriers on a wholesale basis if required. Silver Communities would retain ownership of the fibre infrastructure and internet points of presence in the development, he said.

Mr Barclay expected features such as local call rates to Brisbane via the IP telephony network, online community portals and competitive pricing would make the Silver Communities service the choice of most Varsity Lakes occupants.

Delfin Lend Lease project manager Carl Bruhn said his company was looking at similar developments in south-east Queensland.

He said existing developments were also being considered for retrospective fitting of similar systems.