Regional communities and telcos have until the end of the week to have their say on the design of two programs funded by the Albanese Government which will improve communications in regional and rural Australia.
Round 3 of the Regional Connectivity Program (RCP) will deliver funding to place-based solutions to connectivity challenges, and extend new handheld mobile coverage to regional and rural areas. The $150 million funding pool will also provide dedicated funding towards projects in First Nations communities, in line with the Government’s commitment to closing the digital gap.
The consultation process is canvassing feedback from local communities, businesses, state and local governments, and industry to ensure the final design and rollout of these programs can deliver the mobile and broadband solutions regional communities deserve.
Consultation on the draft guidelines opened in December, and form part of the Government’s $1.1 billion Better Connectivity Plan for Regional and Rural Australia funded in the October Budget.
Consultation on the program guidelines is open until Friday, 10 February 2023.
To view the draft guidelines or to make a submission, please visit: https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/media-communications-arts/internet/regional-connectivity-program
Quotes attributable to Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP:
“The Albanese Government is committed to narrowing the digital divide and ensuring regional, rural and First Nations communities have the connectivity they right deserve.
“That’s why the October Budget delivered $2.2 billion to improve communications in regional and rural parts of the country who more acutely experience Australia’s tyranny of distance.
“I encourage individuals, industry, local government and communities to have their say before the end of the week to ensure the Regional Connectivity Program meets the needs of communities outside our major cities, including by delivering the investment needed to address problem mobile black spots”.