Internet of Things network to be built at Lake Macquarie

 First phase of the roll-out

First phase of the roll-out

LAKE Macquarie City Council has followed Newcastle City Council in striking an Internet of Things deal with private telco National Narrowband Network Co.

Under a roll-out to be launched today by the federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities, Paul Fletcher, NNNCo will install 20 transceivers in two phases to build what’s known in IoT terms as a Long Range Wide Area Network or LoRaWAN, which the company says will cover the entire Lake local government area.

In April the company unveiled a similar, shorter-term arrangement with Newcastle council, installing seven transceivers to provide a LoRaWAN network covering Stockton and the Newcastle CBD and surrounding suburbs.

NNNCo chief executive Rob Zagarella said on Sunday that his company was providing the communication system – the “carrier grade” LoRaWAN – that would allow individual businesses to transmit and receive the data they needed to be able to remotely control or read any number of devices as more and more of the world became digitised.

CONNECTIONS: An NNNCo graphic describing the Internet of Things

CONNECTIONS: An NNNCo graphic describing the Internet of Things

“For example, Hunter Water, which is one of our partners, has hundreds of thousands of water meters it would like to digitise and automate,” Mr Zagarella said. “Connecting a water meter to a network requires extremely low power consumption because you have no access to power – it has to be a battery that is going to last for 15 years – and LoRaWAN is one of the only technologies that allow you to do this in a low-tech fashion.”

Dantia chief executive Peter Francis said the network would cover 650 square kilometres, or the equivalent of 23 Sydney local government areas. Once built it would make Lake Macquarie the first Australian city to have “100 per cent commercial-grade IoT coverage” in all populated areas of its local government area.

Mr Francis said there were incentives for companies signing on to the network.

“Partnerships have already been established with the University of Technology Sydney, Ampcontrol, Hunter Water, ResTech and Slingshot, as well as start ups like Marine Connect, Liftango and BinShare, all of which are ready to use the Lake network,” Mr Francis said.

He said the network would help Lake Macquarie become a digital and innovation hub that would attract new businesses and jobs to the region.

Mr Francis said the deal had been done without grants from federal or state governments. Dantia had convinced the council to provide free access for NNNCo to use any of its sites to put up their transceivers, which helped keep down operating costs and network charges.

The launch is at 11am today at Dantia’s premises at 1/323 Hillsborough Road, Warners Bay.