Optus Business has signed a five-year AU$20 million contract with Townsville City Council that will see it provide services to improve the council's communication and information technology capabilities.
The telco will provide mobile, cloud, security, and managed services to support the council's day-to-day operations, as well as deliver improvements in digital security and reliability to access the internet.
"Smart cities are the cities of the future. We look forward to working strategically with Townsville City Council to design and integrate connectivity, data and analytics, sensor networks, and smartphone applications to transform Townsville," John Paitaridis, managing director at Optus Business, said.
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said the deal marks an important step towards delivering more efficient and cost-effective services to the community, amidst the federal government's push for greater adoption of technology by government to improve internal processes as well as the service experience for members of the community.
"The scope of the contract includes basics such as telecommunication services and software deployment for our staff but it also includes things like improved connectivity to sites including our water and wastewater treatment facilities so that these can be better managed remotely, particularly in times of extreme weather events," Hill said.
"We know that ratepayers expect more and better access to Council using mobile and web services. This partnership will provide us with the services needed to take full advantage of mobile solutions and cloud systems, while offering better digital services to residents."
Hill added that the partnership will allow Optus to grow its footprint in the local community and provide opportunities for local businesses.
Optus also announced recently that it is planning to spend an additional AU$5 million to improve mobile phone coverage across the Townsville region over the next two years and a further AU$6 million to improve services along the Flinders Highway.
On Tuesday, Australia's Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation Angus Taylor released draft guidelines on how the federal government will allocate its AU$50 million Smart Cities and Suburbs Program, aimed at fast-tracking open data and innovative technology solutions to fix local problems and make cities more liveable.
The program is expected to support projects that are citizen-centric, link closely with strategic plans for the area, and address local needs. Projects eligible for funding under the program are expected to be the likes of app-based infrastructure wear and tear detection platforms, automatic dispatch of maintenance crews, and computer generated programs that support or enhance city services.