When A Farmer's Internet Speed Was Slow, He Built A Private 53m Tower

Image: Queensland Country Life

An outback Queensland farmer hatched an unusual plan to counter slow internet speeds - build and install his own 53-metre tower.

And now he plans to use the technology to set-up a live feed for his 6000 hectare property about 20km north of Dirranbandi, a rural town about 470 km south-west of Brisbane and midway between St George and the New South Wales border.

Beef and crop farmer Andrew Sevil consulted a Brisbane engineer to design and construct a guyed mast tower that would allow him to connect to internet services in neighbouring towns.

Mr Sevil built the trusses during wet weather when he was unable to do work out in the paddock.

The tower was lifted into position after 12 months of planning and cost about $16,000.

Prior to the installation of the tower, their internet speeds were only a few megabits per second but by accessing internet from St George, 50km north, they are reaching speeds of 40 to 50 megabits per second through Telstra.

Mr Sevil said fixing internet speeds was the first part of the project but now he was looking to set-up a system to monitor his property.

He hoped to install sensors and cameras to monitor electric fences, irrigation systems and troughs, with the information feeding back to the house.

"This will give me a live feed," he told Queensland Country Life.

"It's actually a video, not just taking a photo, that will be able to record off site and be motion activated.

"I can look at it at any time and it's not costing me a cent outside of the installation. For me it's a far better option."

AgForce vice-president and telecommunications committee chair Georgie Somerset said Mr Sevil would not be the last innovative farmers to create their own infrastructure.

She said internet access was no longer a luxury, it was a necessity for productivity.

"We need to continue investing in this sort of infrastructure just like we do in roads," she said.

Mr Sevil said what he had done was nothing special.

"Why not (do it)?" he said.

"If you are in Brisbane and you get the opportunity to do it than why not us?"