The Federal Government has opened applications for its $53 million Regional Connectivity Program.
The program will provide targeted investment in local telecommunications infrastructure projects that support regional, rural, and remote communities across Australia.
Communications minister Paul Fletcher is encouraging telcos, regional communities, regional development organisations, as well as state, territory and local governments to work together and apply for the funding though the program.
“We are taking a ‘place‑based’ approach to investment through the Program because we recognise our regions make an enormous contribution to our economy nationally but have distinct digital needs and in some cases require custom solutions,” Fletcher said.
“The Program complements the National Broadband Network rollout which is delivering fast, affordable broadband to all Australians, and the Mobile Black Spot Program, which is switching on reliable mobile coverage in rural and remote areas.”
Some of the potential projects covered include upgrades to mobile infrastructure and the development of enterprise-grade broadband networks.
Regional communications minister Mark Coulton echoed Fletcher’s sentiments on applicants collaborating to develop projects.
“Collaboration is an excellent method to give an application a real ‘bite’. We are looking for projects that will provide the most profound benefit to local communities and by joining forces, I’m confident we will see many great solutions come from the bush to improve services in the bush,” Coulton said.
“I encourage all interested parties to use the Program Noticeboard to share resources and expertise on projects and work together to improve connectivity for regional communities.”