The Australian Government welcomes news that $2 billion of the recent investments announced by NBN Co will be directed towards better connecting regional Australia and will stimulate regional jobs and economic growth.
Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said that investments in the fixed-line network will provide an estimated 950,000 homes and businesses in regional Australia with access to ultra-fast broadband speeds of close to 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps).
“NBN Co has also allocated $300 million to co-invest with councils, state, territory and federal governments in programs to boost regional connectivity. The co-investment fund is expected to assist in expanding fixed line services to more regional areas,” Minister Fletcher said.
“In addition, NBN Co will work with retail internet service providers and invest up to $700 million in business fibre at no upfront cost to business, including establishing Business Fibre Zones in 85 regional centres.
“For businesses outside capital city centres within Business Fibre Zones, they will have access to CBD zone wholesale prices, driving annual cost savings of between $1,200 and $6,000, or up to 67 per cent.”
Businesses within NBN Co’s Business Fibre Zones will have access to Enterprise Ethernet, NBN Co’s fastest wholesale products, which provides options for prioritised bandwidth, 24/7 dedicated support through NBN Co’s business operations centre, and symmetrical wholesale speeds suitable for data intensive applications such as online collaboration and cloud-based tools.
“These investments are estimated to see the creation of up to 9,900 jobs and 2,800 new businesses in regional Australia, as well as an estimated $1.5 billion increase in GDP per year from 2024 for regional Australia,” Minister Fletcher said.
Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government, the Hon Mark Coulton MP, said that the Government remains committed to improving access to fast broadband for those in regional Australia.
“The Government has also invested $83 million in the Regional Connectivity Program for telecommunications infrastructure grants to maximise economic and social opportunities across regional, rural and remote Australia communities through improved connectivity,” Minister Coulton said.
“The Program will complement NBN Co’s investment in the fixed-line network by targeting areas serviced by the NBN Sky Muster satellite or fixed-wireless,” Minister Coulton said.
“Those in regional, rural and remote Australia will have increased access to the benefits of faster broadband, whether it be in accessing telehealth services or farms adopting digital agriculture technologies.”
NBN Co will continue its focus on regional Australia, allocating staff and funding to invest in digital capability of local communities, and enhancements to the fixed wireless and satellite networks. This includes millions in continued investment to help manage capacity and performance on the Fixed Wireless network.