Monday, October 11, 2010

Parramatta to be Australia's first "digital" city

PARRAMATTA will become Australia's first digital city, with free wireless internet and apps detailing developments and telling you where to park. 

The Parra Connect strategy aims to "boost city revenues, with a return on investment" creating corporate partnerships to place wireless hotspots throughout the suburb of western Sydney.
Wireless could be mounted on street lights to bring "smart corridors" around major government, education and shopping districts.

The strategy also details trials of online health care and the use of streaming security videos to catch criminals.

The council has begun developing an SMS service to allow ratepayers to text their complaints and service requests to the council, while the University of Western Sydney is drawing up a "parking availability application" to give real-time parking data to motorists via their phones
Residents would also be told where new developments are planned via a "planning alert application".
Discussions are under way to trial wi-fi kiosks throughout the CBD to give visitor and event information and details of local business.

Parramatta City Council will drive the program over the next year, working with universities, Google, Telstra, Microsoft, business owners and community leaders.
"I don't think there's any other council in the state that has embraced this issue like we have here in Parramatta and we're well-positioned to be one of the true leaders in this field," outgoing Lord Mayor Paul Garrard, who launched the initiative, said.

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