National Farmers' Federation

Exciting Opportunities for Telecommunications in the Bush

Today’s launch of Telstra’s 850 MHz NEXT G network to provide mobile voice and broadband wireless services to 98% of Australia’s population is welcomed by the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF).
“NFF is excited about the potential opportunities offered by the Telstra NEXT G network in rural and regional Australia, particularly the availability of broadband wireless services for farmers and rural communities,” NFF President David Crombie said.
“The availability of equitable quality affordable telecommunications services in rural Australia has been a keystone of NFF telecommunications policy.
“This commercial rollout by Telstra to provide dramatically enhanced services to the existing CDMA footprint and more is a major leap forward in delivering against NFF’s telecommunications objectives.
“Too many rural Australian’s have not had the opportunity to benefit from high speed wireless Internet services for far too long. The new network has the potential to transform service availability for farmers to maximise their business and family online activities.
“The simultaneous national rollout of services from the new network is a very positive step in eliminating the divide between metropolitan and country telecommunication service availability, price and performance.
“NFF encourages all rural network users to participate in the Telstra Black Spot program to provide feedback on service quality matters. NFF will continue to monitor network service performance and the smooth transition of all CDMA services, particularly those of a non-handset telemetry and process control nature.”
NFF also notes the Telstra commitment that the “NEXT G coverage will be as good, or better than currently available” prior to the closure of the CDMA network in 2008.
“The combination of this new high speed wireless network and the outcomes of the Government’s $1.1 billion Broadband Connect Infrastructure Program will provide an unprecedented opportunity to deliver broadband outcomes ‘in the paddock’ for farmers and cultivate ongoing improvements in the business and social fabric of rural Australia,” Mr Crombie added.

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