Internet Association goes digital droving

Internet Association goes digital droving

What's the best way to spread the word to regional and rural Australia about remote Internet connectivity? The Internet Industry Association (IIA) says load up a Winnebago with thousands of dollars of the latest wireless access technology and send out a drover - Internet drover that it is.

Dot com executive George Bray has been appointed as the IIA's "roving ambassador", a role in which he and his family will travel around regional Australia demonstrating the latest wireless Internet access equipment.

The Tech Trek trip is part of the IIA's Digital Bridge Taskforce designed to survey the speed, cost and attitude towards Internet connectivity of people living in remote Australia.

"We believe that access to online information and resources was a right that all citizens should be entitled to expect, irrespective of location, income, education or ability. In our experience however, people have to know what the Net can be used for before they can get excited and inspired," said outspoken IIA chief executive Peter Coroneos in a prepared statement.

"George will use the Tech Trek as a mobile Internet application showcase demonstrating the latest wireless broadband communication and video streaming and publishing technologies," he added.

Bray, CEO and founder of Internet start-up, will also be on the look out for users of innovative wireless applications in each of the visited locations.

The trip will be chronicled on the Web site and will feature regular updates, streaming footage and feature stories on some of the innovative wireless applications discovered.

The trip is being funded largely by industry groups and wireless technology vendors. Some of the kit Bray will be taking around include an Apple Titanium notebook, Compaq iPaq PDA, Palm 5 PDA with Magellan global positioning functionality, a collapsible military satellite receiver from the US, a satellite phone from Optus and a Nokia 6210 with GSM connectivity.

The trip will leave from Canberra and travel in an anti-clockwise direction around the country taking in Alice Springs and Tasmania along the way.

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