The Importance of Connectivity in Rural Australia

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Doug Stephens
The Importance of Connectivity in Rural Australia

Australia has many rural areas which are home to tribes of indigenous people. While rich in tradition, art and culture, tribes in these rural areas lack something crucial: Connectivity.

Take, for example, a recent case study with the Anindilyakwa Land Council:

“The Anindilyakwa Land Council (ALC) is the peak representative body for Traditional Owners of the Groote Archipelago located off the coast of East Arnhem Land, in the Gulf of Carpentaria. The Indigenous people of this archipelago are made up of 14 clans who continue to embrace their salt-water culture and strong ceremonial traditions, while adapting western technologies to suit their needs.

For more than a decade, the ALC, has been lobbying for mobile phone and broadband connections across the three islands of the Groote Archipelago, particularly for the new cultural centres in Angurugu, Umbakumba and Milyakburra.”

Imagine having to lobby for connectivity for over a decade, something many of us take for granted until the WiFi is out.

Because ALC resides and operates in one of the most remote parts of the world, it recognised that if a world-class network was to be delivered, they would have to build one themselves.

To do so, they partnered with AirBridge and Telstra who understood the needs of its constituents and designed and implemented, from the ground up, a network that overcame both the social and technology divides that has hindered the region and its people.

 

Cost-Effective Connectivity

It was a mission of AirBridge to not only provide connectivity to these remote regions, but to do so in a cost-effective way.

To accomplish this goal, AirBridge Networks designed a network that combined fibre and wireless to deliver high bandwidth connectivity to the cultural centres as well as 20 other sites across the three islands.

The network allows the ALC to take advantage of the most up-to-date technological network capabilities, such as cloud computing and associated applications, in a cost-effective manner. As a result, in addition to finally being connected, ALC were also able to move to Cloud computing, Office365, IP Telephony, video conferencing and have the ability to leverage the AirBridge network to transport CCTV data and public WiFi.

 

Benefits to Communities and their Residents

Connectivity that aligns the communities with 21st-century technology is providing vital communication between community members, especially during severe weather events such as the recent Cyclone Trevor.

It also creates opportunities for growth and prosperity by improving educational opportunities with up-to-date internet service, provides security and reduces crime through the use of CCTV cameras. Local radio stations can now expand their broadcast reach to 20 locations, bringing people and communities closer together and providing up-to-date news, essential services and cultural events.

This is one example of AirBridge connecting a community, but there are many others, and more soon to come. What’s really important is the connectivity of these remote regions in general, whereas it had never been an option before.

It really is life-changing for them, going from having no connectivity to now having some of the best technology in the world. The benefits to them are enormous and will significantly change the social and economic environments of the region, providing opportunities and removing the digital divide that has hampered these communities.

Interested in learning more about AirBridge?

If you would like to learn more about AirBridge, please visit our AirBridge Services Page.

Thanks for reading!