Telstra is set to invest $24 million into the digital infrastructure in Western Australia’s Pilbara region in the next financial year.
Through the investment, Telstra said it will expand its fibre network in the region, which includes around 165 kilometres of new fibre build for the telco’s customers.
Telstra also said the investment will bolster connectivity and uplift resiliency for growing industries, including mining and clean energy operations, in the Pilbara and the northwest of Australia.
The decision to reinforce infrastructure out west is due to Telstra receiving feedback from the mining sector and heavy industry, according to a blog post by David Burns, group executive for Telstra Enterprise.
Specifically, the feedback covers three areas: the strengthening of the safety and well-being of workforces, improving energy efficiency and reducing environmental impacts and increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of operations.
“To achieve this, they need to accelerate innovation and digital transformation to realise the promise of what Industry 4.0 and truly connected operations can deliver,” Burns said.
“That’s why we’re expanding our fibre infrastructure across Western Australia’s Pilbara region. Because we want to work hand-in-hand with Australia’s biggest industries to help deliver the innovation that will make them safer, cleaner and smarter.”
The potential case studies for the improved network, the blog post continued, include the efficiency associated with real-time mineralogy identification to protect ore quality and operational performance, the electrification of remote sites with data-driven decision making and increased sensors to replace or augment routine inspections.
“Underpinning all of this is high-capacity, scalable, low-latency, and resilient digital infrastructure to serve as the central nervous system to support this transformation,” Burns added. “We are dedicated to our partnership with our heavy industries and I’m excited to see the positive impact our investments will have on Western Australia industry and beyond.”
Telstra's Pilbara investment plan comes days after it announced it would add five more connectivity routes to its $1.6 billion intercity fibre network across Australia.