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FiberSense technology

The Northern Territory Government and City of Palmerston entered into a partnership to deliver FiberSense technology within Palmerston and Tiger Brennan Drive.  

Project information

A total of 60km of fiber optic cable will be laid throughout Palmerston CBD and Tiger Brennan Drive to detect vibrations in real time to understand and capture vehicular and pedestrian movements. The data will inform Council on locations of high usage areas to identify potential growth opportunities, as well as enhancing safety and liveability.

Cost and duration
The joint project between Northern Territory Government and City of Palmerston will cost $2 million in total.

The network has seen some unfortunate delays due to COVID travel restrictions. Installation has begun and it is envisaged will be completed early 2022. 

Benefits

  • complements City of Palmerston's Smart Cities project
  • data will identify growth opportunities and provide a safer city for families
  • a future focused method of asset protection
  • innovative infrastructure with multiple uses

FiberSense Frequently Asked Questions

Council have put together the following FAQ's to make it easier. If your question is outside of the following, please don't hesitate to contact Council direct on palmerston@palmerston.nt.gov.au.

What is FiberSense?​​​

FiberSense is ground-breaking technology that will transform City of Palmerston’s decision-making and planning for our city.  

FiberSense uses underground fibre optic cables and state-of-the-art technology to detect vibrations from machinery, cars, pedestrians and more. The vibrations are converted into data that City of Palmerston will be able to use for planning and improvements to the city.

How much is the project costing?

City of Palmerston and the Northern Territory Government are partnering on the $2 million FiberSense project.

Why is City of Palmerston installing FiberSense?

City of Palmerston are always looking at new ways that we can utilise revolutionary technology for the benefit of the community, and FiberSense provides us with something that is a world first, and has the potential to help our ever expanding municipality. 

The FiberSense data will provide Council with a real understanding of pedestrian and vehicular movements around the city including infrastructure excavation activities that may impact on critical assets. With this level of detail, Council can better plan for future growth and make improvements so that Palmerston continues to be a ‘place for people’ by being safe, welcoming and liveable. 

Data captured will ensure Council continues to make informed decisions on such matters as: 

  • Underground Utility asset protection and works permitting through asset monitoring data (e.g. water pipes)
  • improving its dark spots roadway lighting program through captured pedestrian and vehicular movement data 
  • car-parking utilisation and allocation planning through parking data insights 
  • assist with new and improved pathway programming through pedestrian movement data 
  • greening the city and improving shade through analysis of pedestrian movement 
  • improving community wayfinding to better inform residents and tourists   
  • asset management and long-term financial planning through analysis of infrastructure usage  
  • informing the community and business on areas for economic growth 
  • improving access to services by analysing the different types of activities occurring within the road reserve 
What will Council be doing with the data?

This is ground-breaking technology will enable Council to make decisions based on data that will have a tangible benefit for the community.  Council will use the data to inform infrastructure decision making and forward planning, regulatory decision making, public awareness of critical assets, to understand social interactions in and around the city and to help inform government agencies on public safety. 

Raw data sets will become available from time to time for public use through Councils Open Data Hub.

Where will it be installed?

The FiberSense project will involve installing some fiber optic cables, across a network of up to 60 kilometre through the Palmerston CBD, Bakewell and Tiger Brennan Drive. 

View the cable map here.

Will it be able to tell who I am?

No, FiberSense does not use cameras and it won’t be able to see you or identify you.
The FiberSense technology only collects vibration data. It can not record voices, faces or any identifying information, which protects people’s privacy and security while enhancing safety and liveability in our city 

Does it record my movements?

The technology detects and records movements of pedestrians, machinery, vehicles, and any other prominent vibration sources. It can not record voices or faces or use identifying information, so it won’t know whose movements it is detecting or recording.   

Will you be able to tell if I’ve been in a car park too long?

Council will be using the technology to inform its regulatory inspections and track car parking utilisation. Currently City of Palmerston offers free parking across the city although restrictions still remain for on and off street timed parking, loading bays and taxi ranks. 

We will be able to use the technology to understand which parking spaces are in high demand areas and those that are quieter, to help plan for future parking across the city.  

Will it record my voice?

No, FibreSense does not record voices, faces or any identifying information. It only detects movements through vibrations. 

Who will be able to access the data?

City of Palmerston and Northern Territory Government have access to the data for five years. 

Why has Council chosen Bakewell? Why not Durack or Zuccoli?

Bakewell was selected because it is a typical Palmerston suburb with a mix of residential community facilities. With a shopping complex, school, recreational space and an established residential area, Bakewell is an ideal location for the FiberSense project. 

How big is the cable?

The cable is 5mm in diameter similar to that of a regular pen. 

Will the cable be there forever?

Yes, once the cable is installed, it will be part of City of Palmerston’s information technology infrastructure.

 Will it be going down every street in Bakewell?

The cables will be installed in all streets in Bakewell. City of Palmerston will inform residents in Bakewell about the installation process, including when installation will start, the schedule for each street, the work that will take place and when it is expected to be complete. 

How far away from the cable can vibrations be detected?

Detection of vibrations is dependent on the amount of energy dispersed through the ground. 

How much is it costing rate payers?

This is a $2 million project, being delivered in partnership between the Northern Territory Government and City of Palmerston. The Northern Territory Government is providing $1.5 million and City of Palmerston funding the remaining $500 000. The cost includes installation of the network and a five-year service agreement.
FiberSense will help Council better plan for future growth and make improvements around our city, which will provide long term benefits for rate payers, residents and businesses in Palmerston.

When will it be installed?

Installation of the project will start in October 2021, with all works expected to be completed by 30 December 2021.

Will there be any disruptions or road closures?

There will be minimal impacts on residents and businesses during installation, including:
•    minor disruptions to traffic 
•    low levels of noise during the cutting process

We will keep residents and businesses informed of installation progress and timeframes.

Is it harmful to my health? 

FiberSense is not harmful to your health. The technology uses fibre optic cables similar to those used in other telecommunications applications.

What other cities in Australia and Internationally have FiberSense?

Palmerston will be the first city in the Northern Territory to use the FibreSense technology. FiberSense is currently used in multiple cities in multiple countries including:
•    Sydney
•    Melbourne
•    Adelaide
•    London (UK)
•    San Francisco (USA)
•    Dublin (Ireland)
•    Auckland (New Zealand).

 

Media Release