by Byron Connolly

Gosford City Council abandons dark fibre plans

Feb 27, 20152 mins

Gosford City Council has abandoned plans to provide high speed broadband services – using a dark fibre network strung along electrical power poles – to businesses and individuals across the city.

In May last year, the council told CIO Australia that it had sidestepped the high cost of connecting to the national broadband network after inking an agreement with Ausgrid to access the national utility’s aerial fibre network.

But the council is now planning to revoke its telecommunications carrier licence and NBN retail service provider (RSP) status. A source at the council said the plan to provide NBN services to staff, small business and/or the public was no longer a strategic goal.

Seven remote council sites with 75 staff – Gosford Pool, Gosford 50+ Leisure and Learning Centres, Central Coast Stadium, East Gosford Art Gallery, East Gosford Training, and Gosford Library – had been connected to the NBN under an initial pilot program.

Gosford City Council had big plans to on-sell high speed broadband services – using Ausgrid’s dark fibre at a much cheaper rate than what is offered to large carriers, enabling the council to access services that it couldn’t otherwise afford.

Meanwhile, Gosford City Council’s manager of IT, Gregory Punshon, and network services manager, Chris Gibbs, have left the council.

When contacted by CIO Gosford City Council declined to comment on the change in plan or departure of its IT staff.

Gosford City Council underwent restructuring last year, which saw 36 positions cut.

One former staff member told CIO that he believed the council would “run standardised local government’ and not do anything particularly exciting.

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