The NSW government has unveiled a suburb-level view of internet access and affordability across the state.
The digital connectivity index utilises both public and commercially acquired datasets, according to the government.
It also covers both mobile and fixed-line connectivity, with “on the move” and “stationary” filters possible for each map.
People can type an address into the search bar to see how their suburb compares.
Based on the overall index, an “above average” score is needed to have a passable internet service.
“Communities with these scores are likely able to meaningfully conduct digital activities such as working, video conferencing and accessing telehealth,” according to the index website.
The government suggested that the index had a wide range of uses, and would “pave the way for targeted initiatives and investment opportunities.”
It is hoped that “government agencies, local councils, businesses and service providers” will utilise it “to make more informed decisions around digital inclusion and connectivity investment.”
“The tool can also be used to engage commercial telecommunications providers to address identified issues and encourage greater transparency in the services available to customers, as well as enable the NSW government to work more closely with the Commonwealth to identify priority issues,” the government said.
NSW government agencies “can overlay their own data sets on the map-based tool to help identify priority areas for connectivity, such as bushfire prone areas or car accident blackspots.”
In addition, the government suggested the tool could help first-home buyers decide where to live if connectivity is important to them.
Customer service and digital government minister Jihad Dib said in a statement that “it is a priority for the government to ensure everyone can confidently access and utilise the internet.”
“The NSW Digital Connectivity Index will help identify areas where we may be able to provide support and work with other levels of government and industry to develop solutions,” Dib said.
“The suburb-by-suburb detail of this tool, measuring connectivity by access, affordability and demographics, is a first for Australia.
“It sets us on the path to building digital inclusion and community safety, from improving connectivity during natural disasters to identifying blackspots.”