Traditional infrastructure-based connectivity solutions are becoming less suitable for rural and remote areas due to the challenges of network reach and a higher risk of hazards such as bushfires and floods. Meanwhile, technology innovation in connectivity and supplementary data services is progressing rapidly, and new solutions are emerging from the research and development sector and smaller industry players.
The network will bring this ecosystem together to provide emergency services organisations, essential services and citizens with improved connectivity and safety outcomes.
The NSW Telco Authority is building a Public Safety Network across the state to provide emergency services organisations with mission-critical voice services. It is also coordinating and aligning whole-of-government connectivity programs and priorities to provide better mobile coverage for citizens in areas not well served by the traditional network operators and drive improved connectivity outcomes for the state.
To deliver these objectives, the NSW Telco Authority is releasing a Request for Proposal from universities, research institutes and industry to establish the Connectivity Innovation Network.
Connectivity Innovation Network
The Connectivity Innovation Network will connect end-users within the NSW Government to specialists in our universities, research institutes and the private sector who have the skills to solve connectivity challenges.
The network has the potential to drive faster development of products and services through improved collaboration between government, universities and the private sector, improve access to best practice solutions by sharing information across government, and deliver better value for money.
The network will focus on finding innovative solutions to several connectivity challenges that are currently facing the NSW Government.
These challenges include but are not limited to:
- Power resilience: How might we enable first responders and communities to stay connected by utilising alternative power and backhaul technologies, so that the resilience of terrestrial-based networks is enhanced during emergency events?
- Ubiquitous connectivity: How might we deliver multiple programs more effectively by leveraging non-terrestrial connectivity technologies, so that we achieve ubiquitous statewide connectivity?
- Network & Cyber Automation: How might we improve the performance of our network and customer applications by using AI and data analytics, so that we can identify and action improvements more effectively?
- Sensors: How might we provide our customers with real-time environmental data by using sensors that leverage the connectivity network so that first responders can make better-informed decisions in emergencies?
Proposals are sought from universities, research institutions and industry who would like to partner with the NSW Telco Authority to establish the Connectivity Innovation Network. Proposals will be considered from organisations with all and any relevant experience.
The NSW Government will provide funding to establish the network and to support seed funding to the pilot projects, with co-contributions from network partners.
Submissions to the RFP can be made at NSW eTendering. The RFP will close at 10:00am on 3 August 2021. Following a selection panel review, the outcome of the RFP is expected to be announced in September 2021.
The RFP will grant funding to establish the Connectivity Innovation Network in FY22 including structure, governance, and sponsoring of collaborative research projects. Please note, as part of the RFP process you will need to register an account as a supplier. This can be found with the RFP here. The successful recipient will be required to execute the funding agreement within 30 days of award notification.
Submissions will close on 3 August 2021. Pilots are expected to start in the first quarter of 2022.
Following the establishment of the pilot, this will be an ongoing initiative which will welcome additional proposals from suitable organisations.
For enquiries, contact: