Major Connectivity Boost for Roads, Regional Communities and Farms

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Media Release

Tuesday, 5th April 2022

Major Connectivity Boost for Roads, Regional Communities and Farms

with Michelle Rowland MP

Better mobile coverage on roads, as well as improved connectivity for regional communities and on farms, will lead an Albanese Labor Government’s approach to upgrading regional telecommunications. 

Boosting coverage on roads and in regional communities 
  
A key element of Labor’s Better Connectivity For Rural and Regional Australia plan will be the establishment of a $400 million fund to expand multi-carrier mobile coverage along roads, as well as for regional homes and businesses.  

To support this, Labor will commit $20 million to commence in 2022 an independent national audit of mobile coverage to establish an evidence baseline to guide future priorities. 

 A competitive tender process will be used to identify a partner company capable of placing mobile signal measurement devices on Australia Post’s transport assets, to gather the best information possible.  

Priorities will be assessed independently to maximise benefits, and this will include consultation with Infrastructure Australia, and broader community consultation. 

Boosting connectivity for regional and peri-urban households and businesses 

Labor will also commit $200 million to continue investing in place-based connectivity projects. Drawing from the Regional Connectivity Program, funded projects could include better mobile voice and data coverage, targeted fibre deployments, and improved microwave and fibre backhaul capacity to locations across regional and remote Australia. 

Boosting on-farm connectivity for farmers  

To support the productivity and safety of our farmers, Labor will also commit $30 million to help expand on-farm connectivity and enable better wireless extension solutions on the field.  

This will enable more farmers to fully utilise sensor and connected-machinery technology to improve the efficiency of domestic food production and support the export growth potential of the sector. 

Labor will boost funding for the Regional Tech Hub by $6 million to serve as a trusted intermediary and source of free and independent advice. 

These initiatives supplement existing commitments Labor has made to: 

  • Expand full-fibre NBN access to 660,000 more regional homes and businesses. 
  • Upgrade the NBN fixed-wireless network to offer speeds between 100 and 250 megabits per second for all users. 
  • Increase NBN satellite data allowances to 90 gigabytes a month and unmeter data between midnight and 4 pm, with an ambition to go beyond 100 gigabytes. 

 

Quotes attributable to Anthony Albanese:

“This is a comprehensive, targeted plan that will ensure better mobile coverage on roads, on farms and across regional communities, and better broadband too.” 

“This is critical to modern agriculture and making sure Australian farms are as efficient and competitive as they can be.” 

Quotes attributable to Michelle Rowland:
  
“Improving regional connectivity is a top priority for Labor. This is why we have committed to a better plan for the NBN, and a smarter plan for expanding regional mobile coverage.” 

“We will grow the economy by investing in productivity enhancing digital infrastructure, as well as improving quality of life for regional communities and road commuters through better mobile coverage.”

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Electorate Office

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MARRICKVILLE NSW 2204

Phone: (02) 9564 3588
Fax: (02) 9564 1734
Email: A.Albanese.MP@aph.gov.au

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PO Box 6022
CANBERRA ACT 2600

Phone: (02) 6277 4022
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Fax: (02) 9564 1734
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Electorate Office

334a Marrickville Road
MARRICKVILLE NSW 2204

Phone: (02) 9564 3588
Fax: (02) 9564 1734
Email: A.Albanese.MP@aph.gov.au

Parliament House Office

PO Box 6022
CANBERRA ACT 2600

Phone: (02) 6277 4022
Fax: (02) 6277 8562

Phone: (02) 9564 3588
Fax: (02) 9564 1734
Email: A.Albanese.MP@aph.gov.au

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