People living and working in Hopetoun, Kaniva, Lascelles, Broughton and parts of the Swan Hill LGA can now look forward to new and improved telecommunications services thanks to the Morrison/McCormack Government’s Regional Connectivity Program (RCP).
The $90 million program is delivering 81 place-based solutions to digital connectivity issues in the regions through a range of mobile and broadband services.
Federal Member for Mallee, Anne Webster announced today the details of the projects across Mallee, which will boost connectivity for communities listed in the table below.
|Greenfield 4G macro cell base station in Broughton will provide improved mobile coverage and capacity to an area characterised by mixed farming (grain and livestock) and which is adjacent to the Big Desert wilderness area. Improved connectivity will enable the uptake of agtech and precision agriculture. There are also benefits for access to essential services, including government services, telehealth and remote learning, as well as for emergency communications in a bushfire prone area.
|Fixed Wireless to Fibre to the Premises Technology Change: Hopetoun
|Upgrade of current NBN Fixed Wireless network coverage footprint in Hopetoun to Fibre to the Premises (FTTP). This will provide a significant uplift to connectivity in a regional community that acts as a major service centre for the Southern Mallee area.
|West Wimmera Shire Council (NBN Co)
|Kaniva Satellite to Fibre to the Premise Technology Switch
|Upgrade of NBN access technology in Kaniva from Sky Muster to Fibre to the Premises, through a consortium between the West Wimmera Shire Council and NBN Co. The proposed solution will support all 495 brownfield premises in Kaniva including hospitals, primary and high schools, Post Office, Kaniva College, Police, Fire and Emergency Services, local residents and businesses.
|Greenfield 4G macro cell base station in Lascelles will provide improved mobile connectivity for residents in the area, as well as a combined 21km of the Sunraysia and Henty Highways. Improved connectivity will support the uptake of agtech and precision agriculture in a grazing and cropping area with GrainCorp storage facilities, and will also support increased tourist numbers and related services surrounding the Silo Art Trail site.
|Swan Hill LGA
|R.A.N: Swan Hill
|Fixed wireless network comprising two greenfield 45m towers and four co-locations, to provide high speed broadband to the wider Swan Hill region, which comprises high-value irrigated farming areas as well as towns with limited existing broadband and mobile coverage. Improved connectivity will support increased productivity in these sectors through the uptake of agtech and precision agriculture, as well as supporting the regional manufacturing industry and other diversification opportunities.
“I’m thrilled that residents and businesses in in these 5 regions across the Wimmera and Mallee will enjoy the benefits and opportunities that improved digital connectivity brings,” Dr Webster said.
“This project will provide people in those communities with access to improved broadband services and data, delivering fast, affordable and reliable connectivity.
“This will help keep our businesses connected, our families to stay in touch and mean communities can better access health, education and online services.”
Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said that the RCP is part of the Coalition Government’s ongoing commitment to bring the digital economy to the regions, complementing the National Broadband Network and the Mobile Black Spot Program.
“The Regional Connectivity Program is providing targeted upgrades to connectivity in regional areas that need it the most, ensuring that more Australians can access high-speed, reliable broadband and mobile services,” Minister Fletcher said.
Federal Regional Communications Minister, Mark Coulton said the Government is listening to the needs of regional communities and businesses and has used the RCP to design and deliver place-based solutions that solve rural connectivity issues.
“The Government has taken a collaborative approach in delivering the RCP and has engaged with the telecommunications industry and regional communities to make sure the funded projects are tailored to the needs and priorities of each region and are supported by the local community,” Minister Coulton said.
The Federal Government is contributing $90.3 million to the RCP, generating total new investment of more than $180 million through co-contributions from funding recipients, state and territory governments and other third parties, such as local governments, regional businesses and community development organisations.
The program is a key component of the Government’s response to the 2018 Regional Telecommunications Review, and the delivery of successful projects under the program will begin in the coming weeks with projects expected to be completed by June 2022. More detail on individual projects will be announced over coming weeks.