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Digital Transformation in Government Insight #21: 
Adelaide first Aussie GigCity

Adelaide has joined the US Smart Gigabit Communities Program and will offer innovation hubs with ultrafast internet speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second (100x the national average).

Salsa Digital 7 November 2016


The Smart Gigabit Communities Program is run by US Ignite, an American not-for-profit organisation that was “inspired” by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Science Foundation. US Ignite focuses on next-generation applications, many of which need ultra-fast broadband.

The Program

The Smart Gigabit Communities Program launched in June with a network of 15 US communities (13 cities and two states). At the end of September another four cities joined up, including Adelaide. The goal is to create a network of smart cities/communities that use ultrafast broadband to develop new and innovative applications. While it’s early days yet, two projects being developed by the University of Wisconsin-Madison are: ParaDrop, which is a specialised wifi router that “hosts applications within the router itself, leading to a better application and end-user experience”; and an app that tracks usage of the Madison Metro buses for real-time analysis to improve the transportation network.

Adelaide GigCity

By joining the US Ignite initiative, the South Australian Government has committed to: “develop two gigabit applications or gigabit public services that provide advanced technology solutions to issues faced by that community. Each city also agrees to sharing those applications with the other communities in the network.” By creating a community, US Ignite is providing a win-win situation for communities coming on board, who will also have access to the developments from the 18 other members.

Adelaide is the first international city/state to sign up. The Adelaide GigCity website says: “The end result will be the development and sharing of ground-breaking gigabit applications, data and services with American counterparts and deliver important new advances in healthcare, education, public safety, and other priority areas.”

The SA State Government has invested $4.65 million, and will offer subsidised access to the ultrafast broadband network in innovation hubs. The aim is to make it possible for start-ups and entrepreneurs to create and develop leading-edge solutions that will ultimately drive the SA economy.

The GigCity ultrafast broadband will be rolled out over the next four years.

Salsa Digital’s take

We’re very excited that an Australian city (via the SA State Government) has joined this great US initiative. We also love the community set up, the fact that like all good open source applications, knowledge is shared to truly drive digital transformation. We’re looking forward to hearing more about the applications that come out of Adelaide GigCity.

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