The McGowan Government is giving digital connectivity in the Wheatbelt a major boost, with a $500,000 investment through the Digital Farm program.
The funds will help to install enterprise-grade broadband infrastructure in the Shires of Merredin, Bruce Rock and Narembeen to improve access to internet services for farmers in the region.
The grant, under the second round of the Digital Farm Grants program, has been awarded to Wheatbelt-based provider CRISP Wireless.
The project will deliver a fixed wireless network to provide an enhanced broadband coverage across an area of up to 9,800 square kilometres.
The Digital Farm Grants Program is bridging the ‘digital divide’ in regional Western Australia by delivering fast, reliable, affordable and scalable broadband outside the fixed line and fixed wireless National Broadband Network.
The program is extending broadband to more than 1,200 agribusinesses, across 41,000 square kilometres from Kununurra to the Great Southern regions under its inaugural round.
As stated by Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
“Our broadacre farming businesses are highly skilled and competing in a global market, with access to 21st century technology vital.
“Whether it is getting real-time data from in-field sensors or accessing web tools, the one essential ingredient for today’s high-tech farmer is having decent access to the digital superhighway.
“This investment will deliver high-speed broadband to an estimated 65 agribusinesses in the Shires of Merredin, Bruce Rock and Narembeen.
“This project has attracted strong co-investment from CRISP Wireless along with local in-kind support from the shires of Merredin, Bruce Rock and Narembeen.”