OzTech: Government grants for broadband and 5G; NSW launches digital photo card trial

OzTech Roundup is Computerworld Australia’s weekly look at the world of IT.

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WA offers grants for better regional connections

The Western Australia government is giving $1 million for carriers to deliver high-speed broadband to the Northern Goldfields. The services can be delivered both via land and satellite connections.

The project aims to deliver fast, reliable, scalable, and affordable broadband to pastoralists, local businesses, and communities in Leonora, Laverton, and the Menzies districts.

The main focus is so landowners can deploy technologies such as internet of things to use remote sensing devices. The services would also provide better connection for those in regional areas.

$10 million up for grabs in Australian government 5G drive

The Australian federal government has announced the first round of grants for businesses to trial 5G for commercial use. Organisations can apply for grants from $100,000 to $2 million, with a total of $10 million available.

This initiative aims to support investment in 5G infrastructure and also create jobs. The government expects to see investment across areas including 5G sensor nets for farm monitoring, device monitoring in manufacturing, connect diagnostic imagery for specialists in healthcare, 5G connected smart tags for tracking in transport and logistics, and construction visualisation through augmented reality.

Access to spectrum will be required for the trials.

NSW starts digital photo card trial

Service NSW has started the digital photo card trial allowing Penrith residents to download a digital version of their ID through the Service NSW app.

The initiative comes after the successful trial of the digital driver’s licence which began in late 2017. In late 2019, NSW drivers soared to the app to download their digital licences, causing a system failure. More than 2.4 million NSW licence holders have downloaded the digital version of their driver’s licence.

The trial will test functionality and effectiveness of the digital photo card ahead of a state-wide roll out.

The Service NSW app has been downloaded more than 3 million times and has been widely used for checking in to venues during COVID-19.

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