The NSW Government created the $50 million Connecting Country Communities Fund to invest in telecommunications infrastructure across two key delivery areas:
- Mobile Black Spot Program; and
- Broadband internet access.
The Connecting Country Communities Fund is delivered through the Regional Growth Fund.
All funding through Connecting Country Communities has been fully allocated and there are no future rounds planned.
Mobile Black Spot Program
The Fund commits $39 million to building mobile base stations that will improve coverage along major transport routes, small communities and locations prone to natural disasters.
NSW Government funding has supported the delivery of 140 new mobile phone towers across regional NSW, in partnership with telecommunications companies and the Commonwealth Government.
Broadband Internet Access
The Fund also commits $11.5 million to deliver internet connectivity to regional communities, comparable to the quality of service available in metropolitan locations.
The NSW Government invited telecommunications providers to provide expanded broadband internet access within regional NSW. This program had a particular focus on working with regional service providers.
Yless4U was the first provider announced following the tender process.
Yless4U will deliver a wireless broadband internet service to 10 communities across the Monaro region. This will provide coverage to around 3,200 premises that previously relied on a satellite internet service.
Yless4U have delivered 15 out of 36 planned new or upgraded sites in Gundaroo, Collector, Wallaroo, Googong, Royalla and Murrumbateman.
Additional sites in Bungendore, Carwoola, Michelago and Tarago are planned to go live later this year.
Internet coverage speeds for the Yless4U network will be 25/5 Mbps by August 2022 and 50/10 Mbps by June 2025.
Regional Digital Connectivity program
In 2019, the NSW Government expanded its commitment to improving regional connectivity with the $400 million Regional Digital Connectivity program.
The Regional Digital Connectivity program builds and expands on the work commenced under the Connecting Country Communities Fund to benefit many more communities, with a focus on delivering metropolitan levels of service to regional NSW.
Find out more information on the Regional Digital Connectivity program.
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