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Entries are now open for a $AU50,000 CSIRO and industry-sponsored competition to foster broadband application development.

The prize is designed to spark the development of applications that take advantage of the kind of connectedness envisaged under the NBN, the agency says.

Through its Australian Centre for Broadband Innovation, CSIRO is looking for applications that take advantage of broadband – and it has secured sponsorship from Foxtel, iiNet and the NSW Government (the first is interesting, given that many commentators have spent the last week speculating about whether Foxtel is responsible for trying to stifle the NBN to protect its pay TV business).

In the press release announcing the competition, ACBI director Colin Griffith said the “Broadband4Apps” competition is open to individuals and companies that can “demonstrate a consumer facing software application which uses the distinctive features of next generation broadband services”.

The aim is to get some of the focus away from “your torrents, faster” to a discussion of the new application types that higher-speed broadband might bring.

The competition is being kicked along with hack days in Sydney and Melbourne (11 May and 18 May respectively), with CSIRO, Intel, NBN Co and NICTA personnel on hand to provide advice.

The best app winner will score $AU20,000, with $AU10,000 to the winners in the other three categories – smart appliances; media and entertainment; and health, education and social services. ®

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