When you think of Tech Firms, I guarantee your first thought is large cooperate entities that seek to improve their bottom line, innovate their newest products, and advance the technology race. With our world becoming swamped in ever-changing tech, it is easy to assume these tech firms are disconnected from the real-world issues. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.
A small community, informally called Kawana Island, in the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, was faced with an issue that plagues a lot of Australia. Internet issues. These issues went further than simple downtime, it was impairing the livelihood of people working from home, starting up new businesses. It can be a crippling issue when you are looking for business IT support for your business and come up against a roadblock like this. Not to mention those simply hoping to keep in touch with others around the world.
To understand this issue we must look at why Australia has such notoriously terrible internet issues. It is a mix of historical lack of foresight and a shady plot of corporate control. The first issue goes all the way back to the introduction of phone lines in Australia. Famously the country set up all their connection lines using copper, which worked great for the time. But the issue is, now with fiberoptic, it is much less useful and in fact weaker than other alternatives. This compounded to mean download and upload speeds for the country as a whole are a lot weaker than other countries, and this itself gets weaker or stronger depending on the region of Australia.
Secondly, there was the issue of corporate plotting. Initially, the introduction of these internet services and managing was handled by a government body, in its early days. All the different internet providers had to follow the rules set out by legislation. But there was a shift in government. The people in the know, and running the companies, managed to get permission for the companies to go private and dictate their own rules for providing internet to its customers.
This means that customers are very limited in their options for internet services. The companies found themselves with the power to freely gouge their customers into paying higher prices for internet services that were weaker than cheaper alternatives in different countries. All of these compounds to create massive issues the country over.
The small suburb of Parrearra, know as Kawana island, is where this all takes place. Being a suburb, and particularly one surrounded by water, Kawnw has been suffering from internet issues for years. Download speeds are beyond slow, communication to the outside is patchy and those trying to start up a business were faced with countless roadblocks on the path to success. The residents mostly made up of people who immigrated from England and America, also had an issue with allowing these people to get online to communicate with those they miss.
But that is where the small tech firm, Tech-Lite, stepped in. The firm was founded by a group of tech savants from Queensland who met during their school years. The idea came to them to try to tackle the issues that plague the residents of Queensland, and eventually, Australia. But to really start, they aimed small and looked at Kawana Island.
Tech-Lite decided to first approach the issues from a human standpoint. They began by canvassing the locals and organizing a meet and greet. Their plan was to get the issues straight from the local’s mouths. By doing this their thinking was that they could focus their design and programming on the stuff that is important to those around them. During this stage, they didn’t sell anything to the people but rather used this as an opportunity to get people talking to each other and find out their issues were similar and they weren’t alone.
But they didn’t expect what happened after. Once they had done their preliminary research, they went to the drawing board and began working on their newest innovation. Their plan was simple, creating a booster program and device that increases the download and upload of speed for people in troubled areas. They approached service providers and showed how this device might possible cut costs for both the providers and the customers.
They received significant push back from the major service providers who didn’t believe in the product or the idea. This seemed like a finishing roadblock that would be the end of Tech-Lite and the continuation of the issues on Kawana Island.
But they soon found this wasn’t the case at all. The residents of the island had banded together and launched an online campaign to raise awareness and funds for tech-lite. Once they shared their own stories of the issues they were facing and how nice it was to have a company looking out for them, people were quick to relate their own experiences and jump on board showing their support with both kind words and by opening their wallets to the cause.
While Tech-lite is still working to get everything done and dusted, this story is a fantastic example of how tech firms can work together with people and bring the wondrous advancements we have made with tech and use them to a better life for the average citizens. Nature and technology need not be separate, and Tech-lite is a great example of the unification of people and technology.