Faster Internet means greater agricultural innovation for Goondiwindi
Goondiwindi-based agtech company InFarm will be in a better place to leverage its artificial intelligence expertise to help farmers not only in the region but across the globe when faster and sharper-priced internet comes to the outback town in southern Queensland.
InFarm CEO Jerome Leray said he chose Goondiwindi as the place to base his agtech company in 2017 because of the region’s rich history of agricultural innovation.
“On a per capita basis, Goondiwindi is the agtech capital of Australia - this innovation will move us to the next level, thanks to the improved speed and pricing as a result of an alliance between QCN Fibre, Goondiwindi-based internet service provider Country Broadband Network (CBN) and Queensland’s Channel Wireless,” Mr Leray said.
InFarm uses artificial intelligence to provide solutions for farmers with vast land holdings, including weed detection for spot spraying, identification and location of feral animals and detection and prediction of aquatic algal blooms.
“We work directly with the agricultural sector to identify unique challenges and use satellite, drone or ground-based imagery to support the development of innovative solutions,” Mr Leray said.
“Precision agriculture is largely technologically driven through software and is very data-heavy. The improved internet service at the right price gives us the backbone to reach even greater heights with our innovative solutions,” he said.
Channel Wireless is providing the “last-mile” connection and CEO Dan Thompson said the company’s wireless technology could deliver reliable services more than 10 times that of a typical NBN service, up to 500 megabytes.
“Until now, we had been constrained by the available capacity and high cost, to get our data back to Brisbane and to the internet - which meant having to reduce speeds available to customers,” Mr Thompson said.
“Working with QCN Fibre means we can open up the pipes.”
QCN Fibre is a new telecommunications company jointly owned by Powerlink Queensland and Energy Queensland. Formed to help regional business development, QCN Fibre leverages spare cabling and sells “backhaul” capacity to providers on a wholesale basis.
The backhaul cabling – high-capacity lines that transmit between sites or to a central point – is being made available to carry internet and data services at capacities of up to 100 GB, for businesses and residences.
CBN Director Trent Murray welcomed the ability to upgrade internet speeds for customers, at no additional cost.
“Working with QCN Fibre and Channel Wireless means we can live and work in our beautiful region and no longer suffer the ‘digital divide’,” Mr Murray said.
He said CBN and InFarm were working together, connecting InFarm’s supercomputer at a mini data centre in Goondiwindi – a promising sign for the future of high-tech enterprise in the outback town.
For more information about QCN Fibre, click here.