People living and working in Indi can now look forward to new and improved telecommunications services thanks to the Liberal and Nationals Government’s Regional Connectivity Program (RCP).
The $90 million program is delivering 81 place-based solutions to digital connectivity issues in the regions, including north-east Victoria, through a range of mobile and broadband services.
North-east based Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie announced the details of the $2.6 million project across Alpine, Wangaratta and East Gippsland which will boost connectivity by constructing 42km’s of fibre optic path between Tambo Crossing and Swifts Creek to create a transmission ‘ring’ between Wangaratta, Bairnsdale and Melbourne.
“I’m thrilled that residents and businesses across Indi will enjoy the benefits and opportunities that improved digital connectivity brings,” Senator McKenzie said.
“This project spanning the shires of Alpine, Wangaratta and East Gippsland will provide people in that community with access to improved broadband services and data, delivering fast, affordable and reliable connectivity.
“This will help keep our businesses connected, our families stay in touch and mean we can better access health, education and online services on the go.”
Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, said the RCP is part of the Liberal and Nationals government’s ongoing commitment to bring the digital economy to the regions, complementing the National Broadband Network and the Mobile Black Spot Program.
“The Regional Connectivity Program is providing targeted upgrades to connectivity in regional areas that need it the most, ensuring that more Australians can access high-speed, reliable broadband and mobile services,” Minister Fletcher said.
Federal Regional Communications Minister, Mark Coulton, said the government is listening to the digital needs of regional communities and businesses, and has used the RCP to design and deliver place-based solutions that solve rural connectivity issues.
“The government has taken a collaborative approach in delivering the RCP and has engaged with the telecommunications industry and regional communities to make sure the funded projects are tailored to the needs and priorities of each region and are supported by the local community,” Minister Coulton said.
The Federal Government is contributing $90.3 million to the RCP, generating total new investment of more than $180 million through co-contributions from funding recipients, state and territory governments and other third parties, such as local governments, regional businesses and community development organisations.
The program is a key component of the government’s response to the 2018 Regional Telecommunications Review, and the delivery of successful projects under the program will begin in the coming weeks with projects expected to be completed by June 2022. More detail on individual projects will be announced over coming weeks.