National Farmers' Federation

Another step toward broadband service in the bush

The release of the Federal Government’s Broadband Connect Infrastructure Program Guidelines was welcomed by the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) today.
“The guidelines are another step toward delivering the long awaited ‘metro comparable’ broadband services for farmers and rural communities”, NFF President David Crombie said.
“As part of the Governments Broadband Connect initiative focused on under-served areas this $600 million component has the capacity to significantly improve the services, and enhance the availability, of efficient and timely broadband outcomes for rural Australia.
“NFF has lobbied for a better approach than solely relying on the per customer subsidy offered by previous Government programs.
“The prospect of delivering timely outcomes through competitively-based large scale projects is a major factor in maintaining a vibrant rural economy.”
Having its genesis as a recommendation emerging from the 2002 Regional Telecommunications Inquiry, that the Government facilitate high bandwidth services at prices comparable with metropolitan areas, the NFF played a leading role in securing the $3.1 billon Communications Fund and Connect Australia initiates in August 2005.
“It is now appropriate for all stakeholders to take the opportunity presented through this program and provide solutions that will actually deliver broadband outcomes ‘in the paddock’ for farmers and cultivate ongoing improvements in the business and social fabric of rural Australia,” Mr Crombie added.
NFF will continue to work with Government and others to maximise the benefits of quality and affordable telecommunications to farmers and rural communities.

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