Telco and fixed wireless provider Swoop has secured an undisclosed amount of Government funding to deploy a $3.4 million fixed wireless network across southwest Western Australia.
The project, which is part of the Department of Infrastructure’s Regional Connectivity Program Round 2, aims to improve broadband services to the farming regions of Harvey, Brunswick and Busselton, covering some 8400 businesses and residential properties.
A Swoop spokesperson said the company was not in a position to reveal the grant amount but said it covered 70 percent of the project’s cost.
The ASX-listed company said it would build six fixed wireless towers in the Harvey region to cover 850 square kilometres, which will be connected to Swoop’s existing network near Bunbury and the major data centres in Perth. An additional four towers will be built in the Busselton region, and two existing towers will be upgraded, collectively covering some 500 square kilometres.
Swoop is also promising to deliver enterprise-grade fixed wireless services of up to 150Mbps through the upgrade.
Swoop CEO Alex West said the project in the agricultural regions of south-west WA is part of its ongoing commitment to improve connectivity and opportunities in regional Australia.
“Swoop’s goal is to expand our high-performing network to regional Australia to create stronger economic and growth opportunities for local economies,” West said.
“Improvement in infrastructure and advancements in agricultural technology will see businesses more able to increase their trade from small, local trading to a widespread, large-scale business on a more advanced industrial platform, with increased opportunity to export their products and to compete with other developing businesses. Faster and reliable internet connection will also allow businesses to increase their exposure to the online market, extending the sales opportunity for further growth.
“In creating more infrastructure, Swoop is also playing its part in job creation, with the manufacturing and installation of our fixed wireless towers providing increased jobs for the local community. We’re proud to be investing in our local people and local communities.”
The Regional Connectivity Program is a federal Government grants program aiming to help fund the delivery of place-based telco infrastructure projects to improve connectivity across regional, rural and remote Australia. The program was launched to complement the NBN and the Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program.
Swoop’s grant is part of Round 2, with some $140 million over two years up for grabs, up from the $117.9 million in the first round. Round 2 focuses on areas of high economic and/or social value, those outside the NBN fixed-line footprint; and those that would show a clear benefit from better connectivity and increased data.