QUT PhD student and software engineer David Poxon is the Brisbane entrepreneur who wants to do to telcos what Uber has done to taxis.
His start-up company Velvet allows people to sell their unused internet data to other nearby people via Wi-Fi.
Sellers add a small modem-like device called a Velvet Hotshot to their existing internet connection and can then share their data with neighbours or passers-by – and get paid for it.
“We all want or need to be online, but different people have different data needs at different times,” Mr Poxon said.
“Velvet will allow you to buy only the data you need for what you want to do online. We think it will be particularly good for light users who don’t want to be locked into a contract, and for people who are travelling.”
Mr Poxon said the Velvet network would take time to grow, but that he hoped people would one day be able to walk down streets in cities all over the world and tap into Velvet Wi-Fi.