VALUED PARTNERSHIP: Coffs Harbour Surf Lifesaving Club directr Rachael Smyth, nippers Alexis and Harry Wills and Optus CEO Allen Lew.
VALUED PARTNERSHIP: Coffs Harbour Surf Lifesaving Club directr Rachael Smyth, nippers Alexis and Harry Wills and Optus CEO Allen Lew. TREVOR VEALE

Optus makes a splash on the Coffs Coast

TELECOMMUNICATIONS giant Optus are intent on making waves on the Coffs Coast, both in the water and through their innovative approach to technology.

Company CEO Allen Lew was in Coffs Harbour on Thursday and made two announcements which will put the brand front and centre in the region.

The first announcement was a two-year sponsorship agreement with the Coffs Harbour Surf Lifesaving Club, one which includes the donation of 15 junior nipper boards.

"We recognise the important role that a surf life saving club like this plays in the local community," Mr Lew said at the special announcement on Thursday.

"It's a very big and largely unpaid role but it's important to keep the beach safe for the thousands that come here every year.

"The junior nippers sponsorship is very important because that's the training of the next generation of lifesavers."

Lew said a relationship with the surf lifesaving club was a change of direction for Optus and he was hopeful the agreement lasted well beyond the initial two years.

Optus sponsorship for Coffs Harbour SLSC: Optus sponsorship provides 15 new nipper surf boards
Optus sponsorship for Coffs Harbour SLSC: Optus sponsorship provides 15 new nipper surf boards

Coffs Harbour SLSC director Rachael Smyth said Optus' involvement would be a real positive moving forward.

"We have an incredibly active surf life saving community here on the coast and this generous donation will go a long way to ensuring our club continues to grow for the benefit our the local community," she said.

The deal will see Optus support the club's key community events including the Australia Day Fun Run. Optus is also providing high visibility rash shirts for juniors at the club.

Mr Lew also declared Coffs Harbour was at the centre of the company's innovative plans surrounding modern networks.

"In a country like Australia where mobile connectivity is so important because everyone depends on a mobile device, we are committing to provide an exceptional network to all of Australia and also to the people here on the Coffs Coast.

"In the last three years we have poured $5 million into our mobile network to provide coverage where people here live, work and go for recreation.

"In that coverage area we provide ultra high-speed broadband and a network that is optimised for video onto mobile devices.

"We are also pleased to announce we will be spending another $2 million to enhance our coverage and enhance our network in Coffs Harbour."

In great news for business owners and working professionals, Mr Lew said a new 5G network would be rolled out in the area from the middle of 2020.

"5G is the next generation of mobile technology and will come with different applications for consumers and businesses," he said.

"We are in discussions now with local groups, businesses and councils to figure out the best place to put the 5G stations.

"We look forward to bringing it to Coffs and we should have a good 5G network 12-18 months from the middle of next year."