Mayor Peter Murrihy with crews from Aarnet and GHD

Work to install 35km of fibre optic cable from Central Geelong to Drysdale and Queenscliff has commenced, as a result of a partnership between the City of Greater Geelong, Deakin University and Australia’s Academic and Research Network (AARNet) – aiming to deliver high-speed internet to community, education, and research facilities on The Bellarine Peninsula. 

The first stage of the project will take place from August to December 2022 and will lay 11km of fibre along the Bellarine Rail Trail from Boundary Road in East Geelong to Portarlington Road in Curlewis.

City of Greater Geelong Mayor, Peter Murrihy, said the 12 month project will connect city facilities – such as the new Drysdale Library, The Potato Shed and Drysdale Sports Precinct – to high-speed internet.

“The infrastructure delivered through this joint venture will benefit our region for many years to come,” Mayor Murrihy said. 

“We’re collaborating with researchers, other levels of government, and the private sector to reach our smart city goals.

“Deakin’s flagship Marine Science Centre at Queenscliff will benefit from faster connectivity, helping researchers to share high volumes of data with other experts around the world.”

 The fibre will also service Eduroam – a secure global roaming wireless network utilised by Deakin University staff and students.

Deputy Chair Councillor of Innovative Solutions, Sarah Mansfield, said the project paves the way for optical fibre to be installed to other coastal areas in the future, further supporting smart city ambitions.

“Enhancing connectivity and data processing helps to create a smart, future-focussed city whilst stimulating economic opportunity and innovation,” Cr Mansfield said.

“This fibre provides backbone infrastructure to fast-track the rollout of other smart technologies, which will help us to understand usage patterns along the Bellarine Rail Trail – a key part of our active transport network.”

The works will be delivered in ways which minimise disruption to the natural landscape and enable pedestrians and cyclists to continue enjoying the Rail Trail.

 The fibre rollout comes after the City of Greater Geelong was recognised recently at the World Smart City Expo in the Republic of Korea, winning the International Smart City of the Year award alongside Barcelona City.

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