This 30,000 head state-of-the-art Queensland Feedlot is run in conjunction with extensive adjoining cropping property. Their modern facilities meet rigorous environmental standards; however, the communications and supporting technology required to match the infrastructure investment required attention to ensure long-term outcomes for the business.
Prior to a MarchNet service, the Feedlot’s telecommunications were operating on Telstra’s 3G network from Chinchilla, which is over-subscribed and was delivering an unsatisfactory internet service to the office and staff. Unreliable speeds and frequent dropouts were some of the main complaints, which resulted in inefficiencies in operations.
This project featured construction of a Wide Area Fixed Wireless Network to connect their well-established feedlot to high speed, reliable carrier grade internet. The solution delivered a dedicated 50Mbps download and 50Mbps upload, with no limit on usage. Utilising this connection enabled the Feedlot to connect their paddock (assets) to the homestead/office to enable remote monitoring and management capabilities.
Due to the rural location of this property, the ability to send telecommunications to site is challenging with a lack of resources like power for repeater stations. The use of a standalone solar power system was required to ensure that a fixed wireless signal could be transmitted from the source to the Feedlot. Once the high speed internet service is delivered to site, it is distributed via a point to multipoint device utilising a single 90° sector antenna providing coverage for the entire property. This device provides stable coverage across large service areas by forwarding the service to subscribers installed at each specified location where Wi-Fi is required.
Installation of a quality reliable internet connection provides remote access and monitoring of critical systems while out of the office. It also provides the business with the ability to connect to cloud based systems and services whilst also facilitating enhanced analytics, security and storage services that was not previously possible. The installation of Wi-Fi access points throughout the property extends the range of mobile Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) for staff safety and increased communication availability.
Remote monitoring of critical operational control points is now available and being utilised, enabling access to controls and reliable information to assist in making better operations decisions. Video surveillance and recording throughout the property enables staff to view conditions from anywhere. This provides an increase in productivity; reduced staffing costs; and an increase in safety and security.
Remote access to monitor farming systems throughout the property presents a major opportunity to increase efficiencies. As an example, increased visibility of telemetry data for irrigation systems has resulted in a large reduction in water usage. The ability to instantly record and transmit data from irrigation systems has resulted in the number and frequency of breakdowns decreasing as well as response times for maintenance decreasing. The outcome is less equipment operating downtime and less water wastage. The ability to automate pivots is another benefit on the back of this new connectivity, which assists in achieving the greatest yield return from their irrigation systems whilst efficiently using water resources.
The ability for live information capture and transfer ensures instantly accurate information transfers between all operational departments. This transfer of data provides huge benefits for the Feedlot for not only the handling of cattle but for accounts and financial reporting purposes as key examples.
The speed and reliability of the new service has enabled the use of cloud-based services. This not only provides a greater level of flexibility, access and security to server contents, it also eliminates the requirement for capital expenditure for on-site hardware. The ability to utilise these services have resulted in an immediate elimination of over $20,000 worth of planned server upgrades. Additionally, they will reduce hardware costs into the future where upgrades and/or replacements would have been required.
Feedback from the Feedlot around their new high speed, high capacity Wide Area Wi-Fi Network has been very positive. The ability to transfer data across all operational divisions ensures access to reliable up to date information that enables quicker, smarter decisions with greater levels of confidence.
The Queensland Feedlot has seen improvements in work accessibility and flexibility. The new infrastructure has enabled an increased level of business performance by increasing the capacity of their network and improving access to it. They now have the ability to modify existing systems and processes because of the capacity available to them.
This Queensland Feedlot will continue to roll out new systems and processes that are now available to them via their new high speed internet service and Wide Area Wi-Fi Network. This enabling service provides the ability to conduct research and development of their own to drive operational efficiencies and increases in productivity.
Telecommunications are now a critical piece of infrastructure for Agribusiness in rural and regional Australia. The ability to adopt the rapidly growing multitude of agriculture technology applications is restricted by the ability for a producer to connect these end points to their homestead/office operations. For many producers living in rural and regional Australia they do not have access to mobile networks across their properties and the existing contented internet services available are not providing enough bandwidth to enable their own operational enhancements.
If your remote operation is currently experiencing poor, limited or no communications, get in touch today and find out how the MarchNet team can bring you quality, reliable and affordable telecommunications.
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