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Innovation in delivering statewide connectivity

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Released by: Customer Service

On behalf of the NSW Government, the NSW Telco Authority is seeking to partner with universities, the research community and industry to collaborate, innovate and solve connectivity problems facing NSW through the establishment of a Connectivity Innovation Network. This has been developed with the assistance of The Office of the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer.

Project overview

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 seeking expressions of interest 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? 
  • Operational automation: How might we improve the operational management of our network by using automation and data analytics, so that we can identify and action performance 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?


Further information

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. 

Proposals should outline: 

  • the expertise your organisation would bring to the network
  • any relevant research or specialised knowledge that your organisation would contribute 
  • the recommended design and operation of the network, including a membership model 
  • how your organisation would be equipped to address any of the above problem statements
  • alternative problem statements that have a significant customer need that should be considered by the network.


A workshop will be held on Tuesday 18 May 2021 in Sydney to discuss the objectives and potential structure for this Connectivity Innovation Network. This is not a requirement for submitting a proposal but may help to clarify the opportunity and how it fits with your organisations capabilities.

If you are interested in attending, please contact Sophie McMaster via email to receive an invitation.

Submissions will close on 4 June 2021. Pilots are expected to start in the final quarter of 2021.

Following the establishment of the pilot, this will be an ongoing initiative which will welcome additional proposals from suitable organisations. 

For enquiries, contact:

Name: Jane Want, Director Strategy, Risk and Performance, NSW Telco Authority

Last updated: 08 December 2020
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