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IRCA perspective


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Daniel Featherstone's presentation to the Broadband for the Bush forum

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IRCA perspective

  1. 1. ‘Broadband for the Bush’ Forum Alice Springs 30th June 2011 A Remote Perspective Presenter: Daniel FeatherstoneIndigenous Remote Communications Association
  2. 2. Challenges for remote communities• Remoteness- limited communications• Dispersed, mobile populations• Low income & high costs of living• Limited education, employment & economic opportunities• Limited access to services- banking, government services, telephony and IT facilities, reliable power and water, library, mail• Low indicators for health, education, housing, incarceration• Indigenous first language, low English literacy• Extreme weather conditions (cyclones, floods, road closures)
  3. 3. Remote Indigenous Communities
  4. 4. Fibre Optic Rollout in Remote Australia (2001)
  5. 5. Availability of ADSL services (Sept 2008) Source: ACMA Communications Infrastructure and Services Availability in Australia 2008
  6. 6. Availability of ADSL2+ services (Sept 2008) Source: ACMA Communications Infrastructure and Services Availability in Australia 2008
  7. 7. Availability of Telstra 3G services (Sept 2008) Source: ACMA Communications Infrastructure and Services Availability in Australia 2008
  8. 8. Proposed solution under NBN
  9. 9. Issues with satellite• Latency issues• Effect of cloud cover (and dust, smoke, cyclones)• Upload/download speed uneven, limits two-way applications• Costs for satellite services and downloads• Does not address need for improved telephony services• Higher maintenance needs• Trouble-shooting can be difficult
  10. 10. Preferred model- Terrestrial broadband backhaul to hub sites• Link hub sites via fibre optic cable or microwave• Low latency• Robust infrastructure, more reliable, low maintenance• Capacity for high speed two-way streaming• More affordable services and download usage• Ability to use as backhaul for mobile telephony, fixed telephony, and network extension
  11. 11. Key broadband applications used in remote communities• Basic telephony services, especially Mobile telephony• Tele-Health, Education, Justice and services• Internet, email, Youtube, Indigitube• IP Videoconferencing, Skype, VoIP• New applications- Land management, archive retrieval (eg Ara Irititja), IP-TV (post Digital Switchover), GIS, e-tourism
  12. 12. Last Mile Options• ADSL• Shared WiFi or WiMax- aggregated usage• 3G (and 4G) mobile telephony• Ethernet over Power• Community access ICT facilities
  13. 13. Conclusions• To Do: Needs Analysis for remote users and applications• Terrestrial is more reliable & cost-effective than satellite• Existing fibre networks in remote areas to be linked to NBN• Last mile delivery is crucial to community access• Shared or aggregated usage of service ideal• Telephony (esp. mobile) highest priority for indigenous users• Remote people are rapid adopters of new technology• Need funding for IT access facilities, training, applications (esp. to develop creative software solutions)