People living and working in the Guyra and Liverpool Plains-Tamworth regions can look forward to new and improved telecommunications services thanks to recent investment under the Federal Coalition Government’s Regional Connectivity Program (RCP).
Member for New England Barnaby Joyce said the $90 million program is delivering 81 place-based digital connectivity solutions in regional Australia through a range of mobile and broadband services.
The Government will provide $3,967,392 for a fixed wireless network comprising 10 greenfield 45m towers and two co-locations to provide high-speed broadband to the Gunnedah Shire and to neighbouring areas in the Liverpool Plains and Tamworth Regional LGAs.
In Guyra, the Government will invest $520,018 to boost connectivity along Elm Street and the New England Highway to support operations at the Costa Group’s hydroponic tomato glasshouse facility. This project will upgrade the NBN access technology from Sky Muster Satellite to Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) to support expanding business operations, including administration, research and horticultural production.
“I’m thrilled that more residents and businesses in the New England will enjoy the benefits and opportunities that improved digital connectivity brings,” Mr Joyce said.
“Costa plays a pivotal role in backing local employment and investment in Guyra and this upgrade will support that.
“The Liverpool Plains and Tamworth projects will provide people in these communities with access to improved broadband services and data, delivering fast, affordable and reliable connectivity.
“This will help keep our businesses connected, our families in touch and means we can better access health, education and online services on the go.”
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 digital 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.