National Farmers' Federation

Bush communications advocates begin online Canberra delegation

The Regional, Rural and Remote Communications (RRRCC) has kicked off its virtual delegation.

Every three years, the group of 21 like-minded volunteer and advocacy organisations converge on Canberra to promote and advocate for their Goals document, which promotes strategies for creating better connectivity for regional, rural and remote Australia.

This year, the delegation is harnessing the very technology that’s the subject of their advocacy, with RRRCC members dialling in from across the country to speak to the connectivity needs of regional, rural and remote Australians, focusing on reliability, literacy and encouraging new connectivity solutions.

“The events of 2020 and 2021 and the impact of lockdowns on working arrangements have highlighted to the rest of the country the realities regional, rural and remote Australians face every day working from their home and property while educating their children,” Isolated Children’s Parents Association President Alana Moller said.

“Regional, rural and remote Australians rely on access to telecommunications services for education, running businesses, accessing health services, education and for remaining connected to friends and family,” Ms Moller said.

“With the 2021 Independent Regional Telecommunications Review consultation closing, it is important that we continue to keep connectivity at the front of our politician’s minds.” NFF CEO Tony Mahar said.

The NFF recently carried out a survey of more than 500 regional Australians, which found a significant number of respondents reported the reliability of mobile network coverage (50%), internet coverage (40%), and landline service (20%) had declined in the past 12 months, with the overall satisfaction of services reducing since NFF’s last survey in 2018.
Over the next three days, the RRRCC will be asking Members and Senators to support the RRRCC’s call for telecommunications to be determined an essential and ensure the promotion of adequate competition to improve access, reliability and importantly, customer experience.

The RRRCC goals document will guide the delegation meetings. The goals document outlines the five goals of the RRRCC:
– Guaranteed access to voice and data services.
– Equitable voice and data services that meet minimum standards and reliability.
– Continued Program to expand mobile coverage.
– Digital capacity building for regional, rural, and remote Australia.
– Affordable communications services for regional, rural, and remote Australia.

Learn more about the RRRCC’s five goals here.

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