Participation in the digital economy provides a major opportunity to diversify regional economies, develop improved global economic participation, improve workforce attraction and retention, and enable competitiveness. The deployment of digital infrastructure also has significant non-economic impacts such as facilitating enhanced wellbeing, improved service delivery, opportunities for education and training, and improved liveability and social connectivity. Key to this is high-speed reliable digital connectivity, effective planning for access, and localised digital capabilities (Marshall, Babacan & Dale, 2021).
Torres and Cape Indigenous Councils Alliance Inc (TCICA) commissioned studies suggest that broadband and mobile infrastructure and services will provide real opportunities for economic and social development in the Cape and Torres region (ARUP, 2019; Matson, 2020).
As a consequence of that need, and as an alliance of 13 councils in the Cape York and Torres Strait, TCICA has commissioned The Cairns Institute at James Cook University (JCU) and the Digital Media Research Centre at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) to develop a Telecommunications and Digital Connectivity Strategy for the Torres and Cape region. This regional scope includes the Local Government Areas (LGA) of Aurukun Shire Council Cook Shire Council, Hopevale Aboriginal Shire Council, Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council, Lockhart River Aboriginal Shire Council, Mapoon Aboriginal Shire Council, Mornington Shire Council, Napranum Aboriginal Shire Council, Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council, Pormpuraaw Aboriginal Shire Council, Torres Strait Regional Authority, Weipa Town Authority and Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire Council