The NSW government has pooled a further $3.5 million into its ongoing Next Generation Digital Connectivity project to provide post-disaster connectivity.
The initiative, which builds recovery assistance points for people affected by disasters, enhances technology and keeps communities connected, is now undergoing a trial of different connectivity solutions for emergency services, government agencies and communities.
In September last year, the NSW Telco Authority awarded Wireless Innovations, Av-Comm, Vocus, Optus and Field Solutions Group contracts to oversee and deploy the connectivity trials.
Other partners include NSW Rural Fire Service, Service NSW, the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the NSW Reconstruction Authority.
Findings from the trials are expected to be published in mid-2023.
“Digital connectivity is essential to everyday life, whether it’s emergency services able to communicate during a bushfire, or a person in a remote community able to contact a loved one anywhere in the world,” said NSW Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government Victor Dominello.
“Thanks to the collaboration created through these trials, the government will drive innovative solutions and create ground-breaking projects that could shape the future of connectivity.
“The Next Generation Digital Connectivity trials are the building blocks for potentially bigger future projects, whose scopes could reach across the government.”
Last year, the NSW Telco Authority unveiled the state’s telecommunications plans, focusing on critical communications in public services, government agencies and digital government for broader social and commercial purposes.
At the time, the NSW government also opened up $60 million of the $100 million Gig State grant program, first announced in February 2020, for improving digital connectivity in regional areas.