South Australians embrace Adelaide as the nation’s first Gig City
Friday 20 January, 2017
South Australians are behind Adelaide’s push to establish ultra-fast internet in local innovation precincts and become Australia’s first Gig City, according to a new BankSA study.
The study asked 300 South Australian small business owners and 300 consumers about the new Gig City initiative, which is designed to connect start-up and entrepreneurial businesses with extremely high speed broadband to facilitate greater innovation, technological research and creative development.
The survey revealed strong support from South Australians for Adelaide to become the nation’s inaugural Gig City, with 74% of business owners and 68% of consumers agreeing that benefits will flow to the state from the initiative.
In particular, local business owners envisage benefits in attracting new businesses, researchers, educators and entrepreneurs to Adelaide, as well as boosting research opportunities in medicine and enhancing online education and medical services.
Similarly, South Australian consumers envisage major benefits in the areas of medical, education and scientific research, as well as developing Adelaide’s reputation for having the best broadband services in Australia to help attract new businesses to the city.
The Gig City initiative was developed in America by non-profit organisation US Ignite, who the South Australian Government recently partnered with to generate new opportunities for innovative businesses to collaborate and share information on a local and global level.
Under the partnership, Adelaide will become the first international Gig City this year, with a $4.65 million digital rollout set to occur using the state’s existing SABRENet optical fibre network, which is owned by the State Government and South Australia’s universities, and which already connects the state’s research and educational sites.
As a result, internet speeds in targeted innovation precincts such as Tonsley, Technology Park and Techport will increase to 10 gigabits per second, which is 100 times faster than the national average and more than 10 times the download speed of the National Broadband Network.
As a key advocate of business innovation and entrepreneurship in South Australia, BankSA undertook the survey to gauge business and consumer sentiment about the importance of high-speed internet in facilitating economic opportunities.
“As South Australia’s economy shifts from traditional manufacturing to advanced manufacturing and new technologies, we need to be looking at modern ways to attract new investment and encourage greater entrepreneurship to create new jobs and drive our next generation of economic growth,” said BankSA Chief Executive Nick Reade.
“It’s vitally important for Adelaide to be seen as a great place to cultivate ideas and do business, so from the bank’s point of view, becoming the nation’s first Gig City is a fantastic step forward.
“It’s also encouraging that the majority of South Australians are in support of the Gig City initiative, which is all about giving our entrepreneurs and innovators the best tools to turn their new ideas into reality for the betterment of the state.”
In 2010, the US city of Chattanooga in Tennessee became the world’s first Gig City and it has since attracted US$6 billion in foreign direct investment following the development of its ultra-fast internet network. There are now 19 Gig Cities, primarily across the US.