Digital connectivity in the Mid-West has taken a leap forward today, with Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan switching on the latest telecommunications tower as part of a new wireless network delivered by the McGowan Government’s Digital Farm program.
High speed broadband services are now being provided to the Shires’ of Irwin, Mingenew, Three Springs and Chapman Valley, with further services to be rolled out across the Shires’ of Coorow, Carnamah, Morawa, Perenjori, Northampton and parts of the City of Greater Geraldton over the next few months.
The new networks are being installed by Geraldton based telecommunications company LogicIT Solutions using local labour and expertise, with financial and in-kind support from local shires and grower groups. Broadband services are available to farmers through retail service Node1 Internet.
The McGowan Government has invested $1 million in the Mid-West networks through Digital Farm program, which attracted a further $1.5 million of financial and in-kind contributions from LogicIT, local shires and grower groups.
Minister MacTiernan today switched on a new fixed wireless tower at Eneabba, one of 29 towers making up the network across the Chapman Valley and North Midlands.
Twelve wireless towers are now active in the region, and LogicIT has upgraded the Mount Fairfax transmission tower near Geraldton with an 8.8 kilometre optic fibre backhaul link, to provide a base station for the Mid-West networks.
The $5 million Digital Farm Grants program is helping to bridge the digital divide across regional Western Australia, delivering fast, reliable, affordable and scalable broadband services to areas outside the National Broadband Network’s (NBN) fixed line and fixed wireless footprint.
As stated by Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
“Through the McGowan Government’s Digital Farm Grants program, high-speed broadband is being made available to more than 500 farming businesses in the Mid-West over 20,000 square kilometres – with more than 50 businesses already signed up.
“Local company LogicIT Solutions is delivering speeds ten times faster than what was previously available, with a greater bandwidth – and they’re delivering ahead of schedule.
“Farmers need enterprise-grade broadband to stay competitive in a 21st century global market, and the NBN simply hasn’t delivered the connectivity our agricultural sector needs.
“The Digital Farm program is a great initiative that has attracted and accelerated commercial investment throughout our vast State, improving farming capacity and the potential for job creation.”
As stated by Agricultural Region MLC Darren West:
“Big changes are coming in the innovation and technology space in agriculture.
“This important investment will give farming businesses the opportunity to access enterprise grade broadband services with much higher speeds and bandwidth.
“I am proud to be a part of the McGowan Government that recognises the importance of the future of agriculture and is delivering real solutions.”