Geraldton, in Western Australia, has been selected as a smart city by IBM, becoming one of 33 cities globally to receive a grant this year from the technology giant.
The grant, worth up to $400,000, provides Geraldton with advice from a team of up to six IBM experts who will help Geraldton decide what to do to progress in making the city smarter. The team will spend three weeks living in Geraldton to assess the city before it makes its recommendations.
In its submission for the grant, Geraldton said that it wanted to make good use of the National Broadband Network (NBN), and enable the sharing of data between agencies.
"We're seeing a convergence of factors, which set the stage for rapid advances in the efficiency and scope of citizen services," the City of Greater Geraldton mayor, Ian Carpenter, said in a statement. "IBM's Smarter Cities grant comes at a pivotal time in Geraldton's development as we seek to improve the living quality of all our citizens."
Last year, IBM selected 24 cities globally for Smarter Cities Challenge grants, one of which was Queensland's Townsville.
Nextgen Networks last year finished a link from Perth to Geraldton as part of the government's Regional Backbone Blackspots Program. Geraldton has also been part of NBN Co's long-term evolution (LTE) wireless broadband trials. Townsville was one of the mainland first-release sites for the NBN.