The Regional, Rural and Remote Communications Coalition (RRRCC) has congratulated the Federal Government on the announcement of the long-awaited Regional Connectivity Program (RCP).
The program will embark on 81 place-based telecommunications infrastructure projects to improve mobile and broadband services in the bush.
The investment of more than $90 million will deliver rural and regional individuals and businesses improved access to fast, affordable and reliable communication services.
National Farmers’ Federation CEO Tony Mahar said the program directly supported the overall objective of the RRRC: to ensure that wherever Australians work and live, there is guaranteed access to minimum data and voices services.
“Practically, the RCP will fund projects such as developing a new and improved mobile voice and data coverage; fixed wireless and fibre broadband services; and improved microwave and fibre backhaul capacity to locations across rural and regional Australia.
“Through increased and more strategic investment in connectivity, farmers can improve their productivity and invest in new technology,” Mr Mahar said.
“Fast, reliable, affordable mobile and digital connectivity is key to our sector achieving $100 billion in farmgate output by 2030.”
Additionally, the RCP will help to close the digital divide between metropolitan areas and the regions.
“For too long regional, rural and remote Australians have been digitally disconnected,” Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) CEO, Teresa Corbin said.
“The substantial investment into communications networks and infrastructure through the RCP will have a tangible impact on the city-country divide when it comes to communications, helping regional Australians to get connected and stay connected to phone and internet services where they need them most.” Ms Corbin said.
Importantly the RCP will also deliver for the largely indigenous communities of Yirrkala in the Northern Territory and the Central Midlands of Western Australian, where Fixed Wireless Broadband infrastructure will be installed.
The RRRCC is an alliance of 21 like-minded organisations concerned about the lack of connectivity in the bush. The Coalition was formed to raise awareness of the important role of connectivity for regional Australians and ensure their voices are heard.