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.
Through the Fund, Yless4U have delivered wireless broadband internet services to 10 communities across the Goulburn and Monaro regions.
A network of 36 new or upgraded wireless broadband towers are now available in the following locations:
- Gundaroo, Collector, Wallaroo, Tarago and Murrumbateman (Goulburn region).
- Bungendore, Carwoola, Michelago, Royalla and Googong (Monaro region).
These towers provide coverage to around 3,200 premises that previously relied on a satellite internet service.
Internet coverage speeds for the Yless4U network will increased to 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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