The McGowan Government will invest $1 million towards delivering high-speed broadband services to the Northern Goldfields, as part of a pilot project helping to bridge the digital divide in regional Western Australia.
An Expression of Interest will be issued soon for telecommunications carriers to partner in a project to deliver fast, reliable, scalable and affordable broadband to pastoralists, local businesses and communities in Leonora, Laverton and the Menzies districts.
Submissions will be encouraged from both land-based and satellite technology telecommunications companies, including providers of emerging digital connectivity options.
The initiative will deliver a modern business service to pastoralists in the area, who will be able to employ Internet of Things remote sensing devices across their vast properties, as well as enjoy an improved internet connection essential for today’s global operating environment.
The grant from the McGowan Government’s Agricultural Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund complements the Digital Farm Grants program, which has provided $13.3 million to 20 projects throughout the State over the past four years.
More information about the EOI process will be available at https://www.agric.wa.gov.au
As stated by Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
“Northern Goldfields communities have consistently raised connectivity issues with us – with the NBN failing to deliver the speed or bandwidth they need to grow.
“This $1 million investment creates the opportunity to explore a whole range of telecommunications technologies, both existing and emerging, to deliver high grade broadband services to this remote region.
“WA is vast and our Government is committed to overcoming the tyranny of distance by working with partners to deliver fast, reliable, affordable and scalable broadband to drive growth and new jobs in our regions.”
As stated by Mining and Pastoral Region MLC Kyle McGinn:
“This McGowan Government investment will provide a much-needed, high grade broadband service to pastoralists, local businesses and communities in this remote area of our State.
“I am pleased to see action on this issue as it has been raised with me before, particularly by the younger generation in Leonora.
“Fast and reliable internet is a liveability issue, and being able to participate in online activity is critical to stay connected with people, learn, play, and raise remote voices.”