$90M program aims to improve rural internet connectivity

The Federal Government is splashing the cash in an attempt to improve telecommunication standards across Central Queensland.

Under a $90 million program, people living and working in Benaraby, Bluff, Dingo and Duaringa can look forward to place-based solutions to digital connectivity issues.

Flynn MP Ken O’Dowd on Monday announced the details of the project, which will be issued through a range of mobile and broadband services.

“I’m thrilled that residents and businesses will enjoy the benefits and opportunities that improved digital connectivity brings,” Mr O’Dowd said.

“This project in Flynn will provide people in that community with access to improved broadband services and data, delivering fast, affordable and reliable connectivity.

“This will help keep our businesses connected, help our families stay in touch and mean we can better access health, education and online services on the go.”

Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said the Regional Connectivity Program was part of the Coalition’s ongoing commitment to bring the digital economy to the regions, complementing the National Broadband Network and the Mobile Black Spot Program.

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“The Regional Connectivity Program is providing targeted upgrades to connectivity in regional areas that need it the most, ensuring that more Australians can access high-speed, reliable broadband and mobile services,” Mr Fletcher said.

Federal Regional Communications Minister Mark Coulton said the government was listening to the digital needs of regional communities and businesses and had used the RCP to design and deliver place-based solutions that solved rural connectivity issues.

“The government has taken a collaborative approach in delivering the RCP and has engaged with the telecommunications industry and regional communities to make sure the funded projects are tailored to the needs and priorities of each region and are supported by the local community,” Mr Coulton said.

The Federal Government is contributing $90.3 million to the RCP, generating total new investment of more than $180 million through co-contributions from funding recipients, state and territory governments and other third parties, such as local governments, regional businesses and community development organisations.

The program is a key component of the government’s response to the 2018 Regional Telecommunications Review.

The delivery of successful projects under the program will begin in the coming weeks with projects expected to be completed by June 2022.

More detail on individual projects will be announced over coming weeks.

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