The Victorian Government will spend $626 million on a Digital Future Now initiative to improve mobile coverage and broadband access in regional areas and supporting businesses by creating new jobs in the process.
Announced as part of the state budget, which was presented by Treasurer Tim Pallas on Tuesday, this includes $250 million to co-fund business‐grade broadband connectivity for Victorian suburbs and regional towns through the Gigabit State program. This program will be jointly delivered with the Federal Government.
According to the budget papers, "Gigabit State will address gaps in the availability of reliable high‐speed fibre optic and wireless broadband services for business users – helping them find new customers and new markets".
The creation of this broadband infrastructure is forecast to support about 2000 jobs.
Additionally, the state has committed to spend up to $300 million to fix mobile blackspots in regional populated areas.
"This investment remains subject to a co‐contribution from the Commonwealth, which has responsibility for our nation’s telecommunications network," the budget papers said.
Also announced was expenditure of $64 million on a Digital Skills and Jobs Program, which is meant to help unemployed Victorians take up digital skills training or a digital internship in order that they can find jobs.
"This ground‐breaking investment will assist 5000 unemployed workers into a potential new career, helping them to retrain and re-skill, with a strong focus on supporting women," according to the budget papers.
The state has also set aside $191 million for rebates on solar panel systems and battery storage for homes and small businesses.
Chinese smartphone makers OPPO and realme have announced a number of deals on phones, watches and ear buds for the Black Friday shopping bonanza.
The Australian Government-owned defence industry lobby group, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, appears to have spent oodles of American money on studies that are virulently anti-China, raising serious doubts over Canberra's claim that it has not picked a side in the battle for supremacy between the two global giants.
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