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 in digital infrastructure such as mobile phone infrastructure, regional data hubs and increasing the regional fibre network.
The program is focused on the following three priority areas:
Mobile Coverage – to eliminate mobile black spots where people live and work through investment in resilient mobile phone infrastructure and emerging technologies to deliver future-proof regional mobile coverage;
Gig State – to bring metro-level internet speeds to regional NSW through investment in network infrastructure including data hubs; 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 122 new regional mobile towers in NSW.
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 the Mobile Coverage Project to invest in infrastructure, emerging technologies and services to deliver improved mobile phone service starting with up to 27 regional locations.
The Department is also working with the Commonwealth Government and industry stakeholders on identified black spots and to ensure this vital infrastructure complements past and future investment.
Gig State project
The $100 million Gig State project is currently going through a two-stage open tender process to deliver improved internet speed, prices and service quality in the target locations Wagga Wagga, Parkes, Dubbo and a corridor west to Cobar.
An ‘Expression of Interest’ (EOI) closed in June 2020. The Department is now considering the industry feedback received and will proceed with ‘Requests for Tender’ (RFTs) in 2021.
The program will also investigate options for the communities of Wamboin, Bywong and Sutton.
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 will deliver on-farm connectivity and encourage farmers 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