The company responsible for the National Broadband Network (NBN) and the CSIRO announced on Tuesday that the data arm of the latter, Data61, will examine the former’s traffic data.
The initial project, which is to be a baseline for future measurements of digital maturity and resilience, will examine aggregated and de-identified NBN traffic data to look into how connectivity was used during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The project will assess how businesses and households across different regions, industries, and occupations moved their activities online as COVID-19 hit, and how this activity evolved as the pandemic, and associated restrictions, tracked over subsequent months,” the pair said.
“This could highlight the relative success of industries in adopting technology, adapting to an evolving work environment, and provide a perspective on productivity under COVID-19.”
Potential projects to follow were flagged as relating to energy, privacy and cybersecurity, the use of automation in agriculture, and digital health.
See also: Team Australia: CSIRO’s multimillion-dollar post-coronavirus plan
“The world is an increasingly connected place, and so much of our research in areas ranging from robotics to healthcare is now predicated on being able to share and compute data via broadband networks,” CSIRO chief Dr Larry Marshall said.
“This collaborative agreement facilitates the generation of new insights into how we are adopting digital technologies, to help solve meaningful issues and shape the future in many areas of society. Working with NBN Co, together we can deliver a unique national outcome.”
In last week’s federal Budget, the CSIRO received AU$459 million over four years to address the impacts of COVID-19, and to continue with its “essential scientific research”.
At the same time, the government allocated AU$2 billion for additional research and development tax incentives, once again saying the move was to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic.
“Research and development,
Optus announced on Friday a new routing product named Game Path where NBN users will be able to pay AU$10 a month for fewer hops of their traffic.
The company is targeting gamers, with users needing to run an application in Windows to take advantage of it. The Singaporean-owned telco said Game Path can “reduce lag on average by 30% — which can mean the difference between life and death in a PC game”.
Optus told ZDNet it was not using any traffic prioritisation, explaining that NBN connections would remain TC-4. Instead, traffic will travel over the fastest available path “using proxy technology, choosing the most optimal/lowest latency path for gaming traffic across the internet”.
“It does this by accessing hundreds of POPs all over the world and constantly analysing the fastest path to gaming servers,” a spokesperson said.
“This will create the most benefit when considering international-based servers.”
The company said in the future it might have the ability to make the routing “100% network-based”, but this would depend on what is learnt from the current offer.
“The app is required to identify the real-time communications traffic on the PC and apply the routing via proxy technology,” it said.
“The more people using Game Path, the smarter it will get overtime.”
On Thursday, Optus-owner Singtel announced its current consumer business chief Yuen Kuan Moon would assume the role of group CEO next year when Chua Sock Koong retires.
Earlier that day, Optus also announced it was partnering with Australian National University to develop a national system to detect and extinguish fires using a mixture of satellites, drones, and robotics.
“We hope to develop a system that can locate a fire within the first few minutes of ignition and extinguish it soon afterwards,” ANU vice-chancellor Professor Brian