Announcing the opening of applications, the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Paul Fletcher said on Tuesday investment in the infrastructure projects will maximise economic and social opportunities in regional, rural, and remote communities across the country.
The program is designed to provide targeted investment in local telecommunications infrastructure projects to maximise economic and social opportunities in regional, rural, and remote communities across the country.
Minister Fletcher says he is encouraging telecommunications providers, regional communities, regional development organisations, as well as state, territory and local governments to collaborate and apply for funding through the program.
“We are taking a ‘place‑based’ approach to investment through the Program because we recognise our regions make an enormous contribution to our economy nationally but have distinct digital needs and in some cases require custom solutions,” Minister Fletcher said.
“The Program complements the National Broadband Network rollout which is delivering fast, affordable broadband to all Australians, and the Mobile Black Spot Program, which is switching on reliable mobile coverage in rural and remote areas.”
Minister Fletcher cited examples of projects that could be funded under the Program including upgrades to mobile infrastructure to improve community access to telehealth, remote education and retail Internet and phone services, or the development of enterprise-grade broadband networks to support local agricultural, manufacturing and tourism businesses to engage more competitively online.
Minister for Regional Communications, Mark Coulton, said potential applicants should work together to develop projects for funding to maximise the benefits for communities.
“Collaboration is an excellent method to give an application real ‘bite’. We are looking for projects that will provide the most profound benefit to local communities and by joining forces, I’m confident we will see many great solutions come from the bush to improve services in the bush,” Minister Coulton said.
“I encourage all interested parties to use the Program Noticeboard to share resources and expertise on projects and work together to improve connectivity for regional communities.”
The online Program Noticeboard provides a portal for collaboration where applicants can find and register potential projects, linking regional communities and industry providers.
Applications are open until 20 October 2020 (5:00pm AEDT). The guidelines and application process is available on the Government’s central grants website.