A new Townsville-based data centre has the potential to stamp our city as the digital capital in north Australia – so what can we expect and why is it important?
When it comes to the digital world – especially in areas where disasters such as cyclones can strike – maintaining contact at all times is essential. This is especially true for online or tech companies whose disconnection affects day-to-day running, customers and ultimately the business.
This is why the North Queensland Regional Data Centre (NQRDC) – which consists of a partnership between Townsville City Council and James Cook University with a consortium made up of iSeek Communications, Optus, Dell and Schneider Electric – is essential.
Townsville City Council and JCU have committed to being anchor tenants for the centre and iSeek – an Australian-based data service – will operate it.
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said that apart from the direct jobs for operating the centre, it will also create a huge incentive for new businesses to set up shop in our city.
“The data centre will allow us to attract more high-tech business and innovative jobs to our region,” Cr Hill says. “With the speed that technology is advancing, businesses need increasingly more data storage to keep up. This generally means creating their own server rooms, which is a big expense, especially if you’re talking about a small start-up. If we can offer a world-class facility that allows high speed communications and data storage it makes Townsville an extremely attractive place to operate a business.”
The centre will also make it possible for a local wholesale internet service provider (ISP) to be created which means that new, Townsville-based ISP retail start-ups can begin operating.
“If we can offer a world-class facility that allows high speed communications and data storage it makes Townsville an extremely attractive place to operate a business”
Cr Hill said it will also allow for existing local businesses to grow and thrive.
“Local businesses will be able to use the NQRDC instead of having to build their own data rooms which would be a significant cost to achieve these kinds of speeds, uptime and reliability,” she says. “Without those extra costs they can focus on expanding their businesses without having to move their head offices to a larger city.”
We won’t have to wait years for the new technology to come to us either, with the North Queensland Regional Data Centre being built on the lower floor of Council’s new Local Disaster Coordination Centre (LDCC) on Dalrymple Road.
Construction of both the data and disaster centre is due to be completed at the end of September, with the fitout for the NQRDC expected to be finished in November.
The new data centre is rated to a Tier 3 by The Uptime Institute, which means there are guarantees on the type of hardware deployed in the data centre to ensure redundancy. It’s also the first of it’s kind outside of a capital city.
So not only will this new data centre entice entrepreneurs and innovators to move to or begin their ventures in Townsville, it will also do so in one of the safest centres in the city and potentially stamp our city as the digital capital in northern Australia.