The Birdsville races has been running for 135 years. When it started in 1882, around 150 station owners and stockmen attended the event and the race was started by the drop of a hat.
Nowadays the event is a little different. Birdsville normally has a population of approximately 115 people but over the weekend, over 6,000 people descended on the town to attend what is known as the Melbourne Cup of the Outback.
This year racegoers experienced Telstra’s superfast 4GX coverage which is backed by a new high capacity fibre connection to the town and provides a significant boost to our local network capacity. This means punters on the ground were better able to share the famous outback event with friends and family more than ever before.
While the town might be more than 1,000km from the nearest capital city, the network experience at the Birdsville races is akin to Flemington, Randwick or any other metropolitan racetrack.
In fact, approximately seven times more 4G data was carried over our network at the event this year compared to 2016. Attendees were able to experience “Melbourne Cup-grade” mobile coverage to the outback region for the first time and it’s fantastic to see they took advantage of the 4GX speeds and coverage offered.
The upgraded mobile coverage comes off the back of significant fibre network upgrades in the Barcoo and Diamantina shires that have brought state of the art connectivity to these remote and iconic parts of regional Queensland.
Jointly funded by Telstra, the Federal and State Governments as well as the Barcoo and Diamantina Shire Council, the $22 million Barcoo-Diamantina Fibre Link project allowed both 4G coverage and faster ADSL to be rolled out to Bedourie, Birdsville, Windorah, Jundah and 4G coverage to Stonehenge.
This project has benefits far beyond the Birdsville races. We have brought the best technology available to the bush, connecting some of the most remote regions in Queensland. It means the local communities, the local councils, businesses, schools, police and health services will have access to same, if not better, internet speeds as people in the city.
We look forward to continuing our support of the Birdsville races for many years to come.