Full speed ahead for The Wests Group thanks to Fibre City

Published on 15 September 2021

One of the State’s biggest community organisations has signed up to a high-speed internet initiative that puts Lake Mac on the world stage for doing business online.

The Wests Group, which boasts 150,000-plus members and a host of landmark venues throughout the region, will make use of Lake Mac Council’s Fibre City initiative to accelerate its business and provide vastly improved online services for members.

Fibre City is a partnership between Council and internet provider TPG, with fibre optic cable to be installed directly to subscribing companies in key commercial and growth areas throughout Lake Macquarie.

Capable of delivering speeds more than 20 times faster than normal high-speed broadband, it’s set to transform companies working increasingly online.

The Wests Groups CEO Philip Gardner says Fibre City could be the catalyst to create our very own version of Silicon Valley.

“This improves our digital connection to the rest of the world,” he says.

“Fibre City technology will allow us to communicate with anyone in the world quickly and in real time.”

“It will empower people in Lake Macquarie and the region and show that you can stay here to do business – you don’t need to go overseas or anywhere else anymore.”

Wests Information Systems Manager Michael Clinghan says the boosted bandwidth meant the organisation could place more of its digital resources securely in the ‘cloud’, making them accessible anywhere.

“With all our systems across the group and migrating to a cloud service, all of these systems are going to get faster and improve by the fibre,” he says.

It will also mean a 500 per cent speed increase in free wi-fi for members at Wests sites.

“Fibre City is going to allow us to support great digital strategies moving forward. We’re about to release a new members’ app, and there’s going to be a lot of interaction between the guests and members, so to have a reliable, fast connection is highly important to keep it up and running,” Clinghan says.

 “It’s going to be huge for people who are hiring our event spaces and conference spaces too.”

Council’s Director Organisational Services Laura Kendall says it’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what’s possible with Fibre City.

“This is such an exciting time for Lake Macquarie,” she says.

“We have Fibre City Network is already available in Charlestown, we’ve just built this section from Boolaroo through to Cardiff and in future we’ll be looking to expand the network to other locations in Lake Macquarie,” she says.

Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser says the combination of high-speed internet, superior lifestyle options and cheaper overhead costs was the ideal trifecta to lure businesses to the City.

“For far too long, we’ve lost young people to cities like Sydney. We don’t need that brain drain leaving our City, so it’s really important we have this kind of innovation and technology for the future.”



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