Thursday, 27 February 2020 14:09

NSW Government kicks off program to deliver broadband boost to regions Featured

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The NSW Government's $100 million program aimed at deliverng improved digital connectivity for regional areas of the State is about to kick-off in Dubbo, Wagga Wagga, Parkes and a corridor west to Cobar, as well as a fibre solution for residents in Sutton, Bywong and Wamboin.

The so-called Gig State project is designed to deliver new network infrastructure that will boost internet capacity and bring faster and more reliable internet services to central business areas in regional NSW - which the Government says will benefit local businesses and communities.

Gig State is being delivered under the $400 million Regional Digital Connectivity program, announced in 2019 to address the digital divide between metropolitan and regional NSW, and is looking for “innovative solutions from market suppliers that will improve the price, quality of service and choice for regional NSW”.

The NSW Government says that with technology now part of everyday life, Gig State will help boost business opportunities and overcome some of the connectivity challenges the regions face.

The Government says one of Australia’s largest national conveyancing businesses, lawlab, based in Nyngan, is often held back by poor connectivity that is common in regional areas.

“Our business relies on a strong and reliable internet service so that we can communicate with our clients and continue to grow our business nationally and support jobs locally,” said lawlab Director, Richard Bootle.

“We’ve had to look into moving our business offshore due to costs and quality of digital services, and that’s not something we want to do. We want to keep our business and jobs in regional NSW, and this new investment will be the game changer that helps us do that.”

The Government says its level of investment into digital connectivity is a new area for the Government, and is “just the beginning to ensure regional NSW gets the services they deserve”.

The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) will run a two-stage tender process for the Gig State project, starting with the initial target locations and then “ideally” being rolled out across more of regional NSW.

The tender process will start with an ‘Expression of Interest’ (EOI) launching in the coming months, followed by a ‘Request for Tender’ (RFT) later this year.

The Government says telecommunications providers interested in pitching to deliver Gig State are encouraged to register their details online so they can be notified when the EOI opens for submissions at: www.nsw.gov.au/gigstate.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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