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Enabling Regional Innovation with Fast Broadband

Thursday, 10 Nov 2016


ACS President Anthony Wong reveals how the NBN has become a driver of innovation in the wake of a mining boom.

I’ve long been a strong advocate of the need for all Australians to have access to high speed broadband as a fundamental enabler of business, economic and social development. In the wake of major Nickel refinery closure and reduction in fly in fly out mining work across the region, North Queensland has faced serious challenges to its job market and economy.

So I was greatly encouraged on visiting Townsville last week (to celebrate ACS' 50th Anniversary with our North Queensland Chapter and Chair Matthew Bulat) to discover a thriving start-up community that is reinventing the regional city, by leveraging technology and the NBN to engage with the world.

Townsville was an early beneficiary of the NBN roll-out and already has 18 suburbs fully wired with fibre optic cable delivering high speed broadband for private and commercial use. One of the outcomes of this investment has been a collaborative push by Townsville City Council, regional educational institutions and start-up spaces like Innovation North Queensland (iNQ) to attract and empower entrepreneurs and start-ups to turn their dreams into reality.

Matthew introduced me to Luke Anear, founder and CEO of SafetyCulture, the region’s largest software developer which has achieved a level of growth that many companies based in larger cities like Sydney or Melbourne would envy.

With a focus on safety critical systems, SafetyCulture uses phone-based checklists and templates to help companies and individuals ensure compliance with safety checks, thus reducing the number of accidents.

Click HERE to read the full article.