Chamber’s open policy welcomed, but internet issue still unresolved

Chamber’s open policy welcomed, but internet issue still unresolved

Published Friday 6 May 2016

The Douglas Chamber of Commerce broke fresh ground this week when they held their first ‘open’ meeting in many years and achieved the objective of engaging the business community.

In taking the chamber to the business community has proven to be successful for president Helen De Ross and the increase in membership speaks volumes for her hard work.

With the Port Douglas Yacht Club providing an idyllic setting for the lunchtime meeting, Ms De Ross used the occasion to highlight chamber activities, the creation of five sub-committees and the solid relationship it is building with the Douglas Shire Council.

“We’ll be having these meetings quarterly and members are encouraged to discuss any issue. I am pleased to say that our membership drive has been successful and we’ll be capping the membership fee at $50 until January 2017,” Ms De Ross said to the 40-strong gathering.”

But the meeting did have a downside in that guest speaker and Telstra representative Mark Proctor did not provide any real solutions to the on-going troubled Internet connection and mobile services in the town.

In confirming that the town cannot expect the National Broadband Network before 2018, he did advise there are alternatives to ADSL (Asymmetric digital subscriber line), such as Cloud computing, which is often referred to as “the cloud”.

This is the delivery of on-demand computing resources – everything from applications to data centres – over the Internet on a pay-for-use basis.

“I do concede that increased usage, especially at peak times, will impact businesses who may want to look at alternatives to improve their connectivity. But alternatives do have a cost factor,” said Proctor.

“In understanding your concerns, I am happy to meet individually with businesses who are experiencing problems and identify where we may be able to improve the service.”

Proctor said that Telstra was working with respective councils to try and improve connectivity in the Daintree.

“This is a challenge and we are working on the black spots as well as seeking funds for the construction of a mobile tower,” he said.

Ms De Ross, meanwhile, wants to meet with Warren Entsch, the Federal MP for Leichhardt, to discuss the possibility of pushing forward the NBN launch date.

“We’ve met on a few occasions with the NBN representatives and now we are hoping that Mr Entsch can assist us in our campaign to bring the date forward,” said Ms De Ross, who added that the chamber will be surveying its members on the Internet issue.