Maximising NBN benefits

Article image - Maximising NBN benefits Making use of technology at Lake Macquarie City Councilís Cardiff Library.

Lake Macquarie City Council is implementing strategies to get the most out of the National Broadband Network and become a Smart City.

Residents of Lake Macquarie City Council will soon be able to take advantage of new initiatives like recharging mobile devices from street furniture or collaborating in a co-working hub, as the Council works towards becoming a ‘smart city’.

The Draft Lake Mac Smart City, Smart Council Digital Economy Strategy 2016–2020, identifies ways the Council and the City can maximise benefits of having access to high-speed broadband-enabled technologies and creative industries.

Council’s Manager Integrated Planning, Sharon Pope, said the strategy includes ways to help boost the local economy, and, ultimately, enhance the lifestyle of residents.

“Some exciting projects residents can expect to see include the trial of public recharging points for their mobile devices.

“Council will also consider piloting interactive design features on our popular shared pathway, the Fernleigh Track. Users will be able to retrieve historical and cultural information from their mobile device while on the track.

“One project that’s about to come to fruition is the Dantia Smart Hub, also known as DaSH.

“Located at Charlestown, DaSH will provide a co-working and hot-desking space where businesses can collaborate and take advantage of high-speed internet and nearby shops, services and transport.  

Ms Pope said many of the initiatives would also improve the performance of Council and City operations.  

“There will be a move towards improving access to Council services by expanding them online.

“This could include video conferencing facilities for remote interaction with staff, and the provision of public places to meet, study, work and connect.

“There are also plans for Wi-Fi hotspots at Council-operated facilities, such as swim centres.”

The recent endorsement from the elected Council has come after the completion of a comprehensive community engagement process.

Through this process, Council sought input from experts and the community on how to maximise the introduction of the National Broadband Network for the City’s benefit.  

“The community played an important role in preparing the draft strategy, which they did through face-to-face and online forums,” Ms Pope said.

“A Smart City is one where it is easy to connect both online and in person. And it’s this combination that drives innovation.”

The Draft Lake Mac Smart City, Smart Council Digital Economy Strategy 2016–2020, which will go to Council for adoption in March, can be viewed at www.lakemac.com.au.