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Lake Macquarie leads local government IoT charge

The network will support citywide initiatives and start-ups will have free access to connect to it

The smart city network is equivalent to the size of 23 Sydney local government areas
The smart city network is equivalent to the size of 23 Sydney local government areas

The city of Lake Macquarie plans to deploy a carrier-grade long range wide area network (LoRaWAN) for the Internet of Things (IoT) to support citywide initiatives that will enable business and enterprise to drive their own IoT projects.


It claims it will be the first Australian local government area to create a smart city network equivalent to the size of 23 Sydney local government areas.


Peter Francis, CEO of Dantia, the economic development company of Lake Macquarie, described the major infrastructure commitment as a ‘game-changer’ for the region.


The network is being installed by IoT carrier National Narrowband Network Co (NNNCo) and is commercially funded for a 20-year contract period, delivered via a partnership between Dantia, Lake Macquarie city council and NNNCo.


“The scale of the Lake Macquarie city infrastructure is unprecedented. It will make Lake Macquarie the first Australian city to provide 100 per cent commercial-grade IoT network coverage to all populated areas across the LGA, some 650 square kilometres,” said Francis.


“The investment in this infrastructure will create significant opportunities across Lake Macquarie city for start-ups, small and large businesses and open pathways for Lake Macquarie Council to build new technology and innovate.”


Start-ups will have free access to connect to the network and businesses and corporates can receive a 15 per cent discount, if they establish operations in Lake Macquarie city.


Partnerships have already been established with corporations including the University of Technology Sydney, Slingshot, Ampcontrol, ResTech and Hunter Water as well as start-ups like Marine Connect, Liftango and BinShare, all of which are ready to utilise the Lake Macquarie network.


NNNCo was chosen to install and operate the network based on its proven ability to deploy low cost, low-power, carrier-grade connectivity and end-to-end IoT solutions such as water metering and street lighting.


“One of the challenges with IoT is the complexity of receiving data from lots of different devices and applications and transforming that data into knowledge that supports decision making,” added Francis. “Working in partnership with NNNCo, we have the means to overcome these challenges and scale to multiple applications that will make Lake Macquarie a truly smart city.”


According to minister Fletcher IoT presents opportunities to improve productivity, liveability and service delivery, with benefits across many sectors including manufacturing, farming, retail, transport and health.


“IoT is estimated to have the potential to add up to $120bn annually to the Australian economy by 2025 and Lake Macquarie is now positioned to be at the forefront of IoT network and infrastructure delivery,” said Fletcher.


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