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Information and communications technology stories

The following stories relate toTasmania’s Information & Communications Technology sector:

Launtel promotes Gigabit State

Tasmanian-owned telco, Launtel, launched its Blue Ocean™ Gigabit nbn™ Internet service in Hobart in October, advancing a plan to make Tasmania the nation’s first “Gigabit State.” The lightning-fast service connects Tasmania with the global gigabit economy. Launtel chose Priceline Glenorchy for its launch ceremony to demonstrate that gigabit speeds can be a productive addition to the information technology utilised by any business in Tasmania. Launtel offers internet speeds 10 times faster than any other available internet service to businesses that have pure fibre to the premises connections. The services are 100 times faster than the present national average download speed of 10.1 Mbps. Launtel CEO, Michael Costigan, said: “Tasmania has long relied on four mainstays of economic growth: forestry, mining, agriculture and tourism. The introduction of gigabit internet adds a new economic driver that offers high-wage employment opportunities and environmentally friendly growth. It’s an industry that firmly places Tasmania at the forefront of the high-tech industry in Australia, and makes it the logical business location for Australian businesses wishing to interact on equal terms with other high speed economies around the world.”

6 November 2017, Edition 189

Global ride for drone start-up

Edition 187 Ignite Digi Chris Fox Tom Waugh

A small Tasmanian company, Ignite Digi, is using drone technology, cutting-edge accessories for digital movie cameras and high-end personal skills to carve a niche in the global film industry.

10 September 2017, Edition 187

Launceston becomes Gigabit City

Edition 187 Damian Ivereigh CEO and Founder Launtel

Launceston Internet provider Launtel is offering local businesses Blue Ocean Gigabit connections through NBN’s fibre network that are 10 times faster than the present maximum speed.

9 September 2017, Edition 187

Local art app used by Disney

Illustrator James Cuda’s Procreate iPad app is attracting millions of users worldwide, including Disney. “We created it for the professional market and we just built it so we would love it,” Mr Cuda told The Mercury. “Now we’re getting used by Disney and Pixar and getting great requests coming in from movie studios, but we still measure (the app and new features) by whether we’d like to use them.” Savage Interactive, which he and wife Alanna began in a spare bedroom of their suburban Hobart home, now boasts a conventional office and 11 workers. The firm’s achievements are inspiring other Australian app enthusiasts to seek similar success, with more than 113,000 Australians now working in apps. Procreate sits in second spot on Apple’s paid entertainment apps chart, making it one of Australia’s digital success stories.

6 September 2017, Edition 187

Cadbury resumes after cyber attack

Full chocolate output was restored at Hobart’s Cadbury factory in June, three days after a cyber attack halted all production. Cadbury was among hundreds of victims of the global attack that started in the Ukraine and spread to businesses around the world, including Australian branches of TNT Express and DLA Piper Lawyers. The ransomware was launched as a small piece of computer code inside a Word or PDF document. It shut computers down and demanded a ransom of 300 bitcoins, or $395 to unlock users’ data. All of the global IT networks of Cadbury’s parent company Mondelez International were affected. Joel Scanlan, a cyber security lecturer at UTAS, said older unpatched systems were being targeted by the extortionists.

4 July 2017, Edition 185

North leads tourism gains

Northern Tasmania recorded an 11 per cent increase in visitors in 2016, as the State exceeded 1.2 million visitors for the first time. Total statewide visitor numbers grew by 7 per cent, with visitor spending increasing by 10 per cent to $2.14 billion. The Premier, Will Hodgman, said: “Our regions are sharing in the benefits of the tourism boom with northern Tasmania the standout. The east coast was close behind recording a 10 per cent increase, while Cradle Coast was up 7 per cent.” Tasmania is ahead of the 5 per cent growth rate required annually to reach the Government’s tourism target of 1.5 million visitors by 2020. People arriving by air increased by 7 per cent, while sea visitors grew 11 per cent. International visitors increased by 11 per cent, with tourists from the United States up 13 per cent.

1 May 2017, Edition 183

Golf inspires a PlayStation entry

Start-up business Giant Margarita’s Party Golf became the first Tasmanian-made PlayStation game in October. It had its origins when UTAS technology lecturer Ian Lewis took part in a challenge last year to build a playable video game in 48 hours. Dr Lewis, Dr Kristy de Salas and other friends enjoyed the golf-based creation so much they decided to refine it. Months of moonlighting, a $14,000 leg-up from Kickstarter and lots of player feedback made their game console-ready. Party Golf is a sort of golfing free-for-all in which other players are the participants’ principle handicap. “It’s not turn based, like traditional golf,” Dr de Salas told The Mercury. “There’s a lot of sabotage. There’s lots of crazy balls.” The success of the game as a digital download will determine whether or not it becomes a boxed offering sold on shelves, and whether the Hobart team can self-fund future projects. “The things that we’ve learned … have allowed us to gain this portfolio of experience that we’re more than happy to share to anybody who asks,” Dr de Salas said.

3 November 2016, Tasmania’s Stories Edition 177

Spirit passengers to be connected

Spirit of Tasmania ferry passengers will be able to stay connected during Bass Strait crossings following the introduction of satellite data streaming services. Consumer data services will be delivered alongside telemetry services. Optus spokesperson Paul Sheridan said: “The two-pronged technology deal will see service delivery … to keep the ferry and staff in communication, as well as additional capacity provided to allow passengers to connect to the Internet. The addition of wideband Internet via satellite to these newly refurbished vessels is an exciting development and opens up a wide range of possible commercial services for TT Line.” The new service is delivered through a partnership between Optus Satellite and Electrotech Australia.

1 March 2016, Tasmania’s Stories Edition 169

$40m data centre for Hobart

Tasmania’s cool climate has convinced investors from Western Australia to build a $40 million data centre in Hobart. Perth-based Red Cloud announced plans in October to build the centre by the middle of next year. Red Cloud’s Chief Executive, Carl Woodbridge, said: “Computers exhaust a lot of heat and one of the highest operating costs for a data centre is power – not just in the power that’s consumed by working computers but in the power needed to cool computers. One of the advantages in siting data centres in areas of low temperature is that you can capitalise on what’s known as free air cooling, so we will consume a lot less power having a data centre in Tasmania than we would on the mainland.” The centre will enable faster development of new software applications and provide local businesses with unprecedented levels of data storage. It will create 17 direct jobs.

3 November 2015, Edition 166

UXC to create 50 new jobs

Sydney-based ICT business UXC will create 50 new jobs in Hobart following a $1.7 million grant by the Tasmanian Government. Australia’s largest locally owned ICT company, UXC employs 12 people in Hobart at present. It considered regional NSW and overseas locations for a planned expansion, but was drawn to Hobart by the city’s 'IT-friendly environment’ and better government support. The Premier, Will Hodgman, said “To ensure UXC expanded into Hobart … the Government has agreed to provide $1.7 million over five years for a new customer support centre. The Department of State Growth is working with UXC to find appropriate office space, as well as exploring opportunities for a collaborative graduate employment program with UTAS.”

2 June 2015, Edition 161

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Bigger, cleaner ships for TT-Line

Edition 190_TT-Line

TT-Line is set to order two new, bigger and cleaner ships to boost capacity and heighten customer appeal on its Bass Strait service.

11 December 2017, Edition 190

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