The final session before lunch focused on remote and rural communities, and was led by a presentation from CSIRO ICT Centre’s director Ian Oppermann, who talked about a range of initiatives that CSIRO has made in delivering broadband access and services to regional areas. He talked about two projects, including one that performs remote ophthalmological testing, and about CSIRO’s partnership with NICTA in the Australian Centre for Broadband Innovation.
The second speaker was Rosalind Dubs, chair of the Space Industry Innovation Council who talked about the importance of space technologies to Australian society today, such as weather forecasting, the timing of banking transaction, television broadcasting, and of course, the GPS network. She discussed the role that the National Broadband Network will play in providing the terrestrial data network for moving satellite data around, especially in regional areas.
The final speaker was Rangan Srikhanta, executive director of One Laptop Per Child Australia. He talked about the importance of equipping remote communities with skills and equipment to participate in the digital econom.
“We need to consider all the moving parts to make a solution stick,” he said.