TWENTY years of “patchy” internet connection in Malaga has prompted a new digital hub to install faster technology in order to compete with the world market.
The Growth Box, a digital and business hub, is managed by the Malaga and Districts Business Association (MDBA) and will be officially opening on July 18.
NBN is planned for the Malaga business district between April to June 2018.
According to a MDBA paper on broadband access, the average download speed was 8.64 Mbps and the average upload speed was 1.78 Mbps.
The association has been lobbying to fast-track NBN access in the district for several years.
In 2015, the association presented the paper to then-Federal Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Canberra.
MDBA and The Growth Box chief executive Clive Haddow said he sought TPG to upgrade its current cabling and enable faster connection.
“This fast broadband is going to be 100 Mbps upload and 100 Mpbs download; it is equivalent to about three or four times the speed of NBN but the beauty about it is that it is guaranteed,” he said.
“If we made Malaga a little bit more digitally orientated, we would bring a lot more employment to and reinvigorate the area.
“We wanted to have the fastest broadband network in WA so that we could bring in and foster new businesses who want to work in this tech space.”
MDBA acting president and Malaga Print and Copy owner Felicity Orr said bad weather affected small businesses’ productivity.
“Over the last 20 years, it has always been patch work rather than fixing things properly so the fibre-to-the-node (technology) may still create problems because the nodes have not been fixed properly or it is old technology,” she said.
“We deal with builders and their house plans for their tenders and they will send anywhere between 1 to 10 emails with broken PDF files or put them on a USB stick and personally deliver it to us.”
Malaga business, ASAP Garage Doors owner Andy Comas said his business have been dealing with connection issues for two years.
“We were getting 2Mbps speeds… our Eftpos machine fails and the phone line keeps on dropping off,” he said.
“We are using a lot of cloud-based software but the internet just freezes on us and drops out completely.
“The MDBA have got 100 per cent guarantee for fast broadband but we cannot afford it.”