The Victorian Government has chosen NNNCo to deliver a Low Power Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN) that will cover 5,000 square kilometres in four regional areas.

The network will be part of Victoria’s On-Farm IoT Trial, which will test Internet of Things (IoT) technology over a two-year period. NNNco will work with Agriculture Victoria to deliver the network.

The trial aims to provide IoT network coverage to about 600 farms in areas around Maffra, Tatura, Serpentine and Birchip.

“We are funding IoT network connectivity in the trial regions to address a lack of connectivity which is often a barrier to farmers’ realising the potential of IoT and other emerging digital technologies,” stated the Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes.

The Victorian Government stated in mid-2018 that it was accepting offers to build IoT networks for the trial.

The trial provides farmers with grants of up to $30,000 to cover up to two-thirds of the cost of IoT products. Expressions of interest for the first round of funding closed in August 2019. The Victorian Government also issued a request for proposal for IoT technology suppliers and has since closed that process.

The trial is one of several projects expanding NNNCo’s network coverage in regional Australia. It includes networks built in partnership with IoT company Goanna Ag that cover approximately 60 percent of Australia’s cotton belt, according to NNNCo.

It is also rolling out a three million hectare LoRaWAN network that will be used by the Carwoola Pastoral Company and Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA).

In December 2019, NNNCo also secured work to install and maintain a LoRaWAN network and sensors at two Western Australian Government research facilities.