Australia's Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, has given an opening keynote address for the 2020 IoT Festival Online, which began this week.

In the video, Minister Fletcher talks about supporting continued growth and development of networks used for IoT. His talk covers such topics as business-grade nbn products announced last year, 5G and next year’s 26GHz spectrum allocation.

His keynote coincides with this week's Federal Government announcement of almost $30 million to improve allocation and management of spectrum and trial 5G use in multiple industry sectors.

This includes a $22.1 million Australian 5G Innovation Initiative aimed at supporting the demonstration of 5G use cases to “showcase the productivity boosting applications of 5G”.

The money will be used for 5G commercial trials and testbeds in such sectors as agriculture, mining, logistics and manufacturing.

There will be a competitive grants program, involving two rounds of funding over three years, to support private sector investment in 5G testbeds and trials.

The Initiative will assist businesses, including small to medium enterprises, to test and develop 5G applications, services and products, to demonstrate the commercial incentive for businesses to adopt 5G solutions, according to the government.

Recipients will “pilot ways of addressing technical challenges to help create the commercial incentive for businesses to adopt 5G solutions and for carriers to accelerate their 5G rollouts”.

By the end of 2020, the government will consult on the scope and grant guidelines. It expects the first round of grants to open in the first quarter of 2021.

This week, the government also announced plans to spend $1.8 million over two years to invest in systems that allow more efficient spectrum allocation. And it plans to spend $5.3 million over two years to update and simplify the digital spectrum licence system.

The spending is part of the Government’s Job Maker Digital Business Plan announced this week.

Visit the 2020 IoT Festival Online site to watch Minister Fletcher’s entire keynote address.