What will the program deliver?
The Regional Digital Connectivity program will ensure families and businesses across regional NSW have better access to mobile, internet and digital services.
The program will address the digital divide between metropolitan centres and regional NSW. It will do this through large-scale investment with the telecommunications industry to improve mobile coverage and internet connectivity for the most underserved areas of the State.
The program is focused on the following three priority areas:
Mobile Coverage – to address mobile black spots where people live and work through investment in future-proof mobile phone infrastructure and emerging technologies to deliver increased rural and regional mobile coverage;
Gig State – to bring metro-level internet speeds and pricing to rural and regional NSW through investment in improved connectivity infrastructure; and
Farms of the Future – to enable farmers and agribusinesses to use agricultural technologies (ag tech) for increased productivity and resource management such as water monitoring.
The Regional Digital Connectivity program is in addition to the Connecting Country Communities Fund that has helped deliver 123 new regional mobile towers in NSW so far.
The program will also co-fund delivery of 22 new regional mobile phone towers as part of Round 5A of the Commonwealth Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program.
Investment in large-scale digital infrastructure is a new area for the NSW Government. Detailed planning and scoping studies are well underway to ensure robust solutions are delivered across the three streams.
The NSW Government has committed $50 million for Stage 1 of the Mobile Coverage Project to invest in infrastructure, emerging technologies and services to deliver improved mobile phone service in rural and regional locations.
The Department is also working with the Commonwealth Government and industry stakeholders on identified black spots to ensure this vital infrastructure complements past and future investment.
Gig State project
The Gig State program expects to announce further projects early in 2022.
Farms of the Future pilot
The NSW Government has committed $48 million for an expanded Farms of the Future program, following the pilot program announced in August 2020.
The expanded program is being delivered in partnership with DPI (Department of Primary Industries) in five target regions across 11 local government areas. The program will deliver both on-farm connectivity and support to assist farm businesses to adopt ag tech to boost productivity and improve resource management, including water and drought preparedness.
For questions about the program, please contact: RDC.email@example.com