Sweet 16: projects enhancing regional connectivity
Customers across regional, rural and remote Australia are set to benefit from enhanced connectivity over the nbn™ network, thanks to projects co-funded under the first round of the Regional Connectivity Program (RCP).
An Australian government initiative, the RCP sees funding allocated to ‘place-based’ telecommunications infrastructure projects that help solve local connectivity issues.
And in great news for those living and working in some of the country’s regional, rural and remote areas, 16 nbn projects have been approved for almost $28 million in RCP funding.
nbn will also contribute more than $23 million towards the important projects as part of its continued commitment to providing regional Australians with access to high-speed broadband.*
“This is a significant outcome for rural and remote Australia and comes at a time when it has never been more important for residents and businesses to be able to access those benefits made available through improved connectivity,” says Gavin Williams, Chief Development Officer, Regional and Remote at nbn.
So, what exactly are these projects, where are they based, and who will benefit?
Known as the ‘Gateway to the West’, Alpha (Iningai Country) is located in Outback Queensland and is famous for its petrified wood and murals.
This project will see the nbn™ access technology in Alpha change to FTTP.
Through this project, eligible premises in Alpha will gain access to the highest available wholesale speed plans via services over the nbn™ network, with a choice of speeds of close to 1Gbps.*†
Augathella and Morven, Queensland
Located in Outback Queensland, Augathella and Morven (Bidjara Country) are towns in Murweh Shire, which is becoming a key centre for industry development.
This project will see the nbn™ access technology in Augathella and Morven change to FTTP.
Eligible local businesses will also be able to access business nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet, which offers symmetrical speeds of close to 1Gbps.*†
One of the southernmost towns in the Huon Valley, Geeveston (Melukerdee Country) is known for its rich farming land, forests and mountain backdrop.
This project will see the nbn™ access technology in Geeveston change to FTTP.
The upgrade will support improved connectivity for a number of local industries, as well as for health centres and local schools, according to the RCP.
Halls Creek, Western Australia
Located on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert in East Kimberley, Halls Creek (Jaru, Kija, Kukatja, Walmajarri, and Gooniyandi Country) is the springboard to natural wonders including World Heritage-listed Purnululu National Park and Bungle Bungle Range.
This project will see the nbn™ access technology in Halls Creek change to FTTP.
According to the RCP, the upgrade will provide improved broadband connectivity to support the delivery of essential services, such as skills training, education and health services to the town and surrounding areas, as well as supporting business opportunities in tourism, mining and civil construction.
Nestled in the Southern Mallee region, Hopetoun (Wotjobaluk Country) has a strong agricultural history and is home to Lake Corrong and Lake Lascelles.
This project will see the nbn™ access technology in Hopetoun change to FTTP.
The upgrade will provide improved connectivity to increase the economic competitiveness of the region and enable more efficient service delivery in the wider Southern Mallee area.
Situated halfway between Melbourne and Adelaide, Kaniva (Wotjobaluk Country) is home to The Big Windmill and the Sheep Art Trail.
This project will see the nbn™ access technology in Kaniva change to FTTP.
The upgrade will provide improved connectivity to support local agricultural and tourism businesses, as well as a number of community facilities providing health, education, post and emergency services to residents.
Dubbed the ‘River Bank Garden Town’, Murchison (Yorta Yorta Country) lies on the banks of the Goulburn River, 35 kilometres south of Shepparton.
This project will see the nbn™ access technology in Murchison change to FTTP, with the upgrade set to provide improved connectivity to support local orchard, vineyard and dairy farm activities, as well as the delivery of health and education services to the community, according to the RCP.
Located 181km north of Melbourne, Rushworth (Dja Dja Wurrung, Taungurung and Yorta Yorta Country) is a former gold mining town.
This project will see the nbn™ access technology in Rushworth change to FTTP.
The upgrade will provide improved connectivity to support growth opportunities in tourism and health services, as well as increasing access to other essential services, says the RCP.
Home to the Cobb & Co Changing Station, Surat (Mandandanji Country) is located in Outback Queensland close to the banks of the Balonne River.
This project will see the nbn™ access technology in Surat change to FTTP.
The upgrade will support growth opportunities in a number of sectors, particularly tourism, and will improve health, education and public safety connectivity in the community, according to the RCP.
Described as a ‘vibrant country community’, Teesdale (Wadawurrung Country) is known for the six nature reserves in and around town.
This project will see the nbn™ access technology in Teesdale change to FTTP.
The upgrade will provide improved connectivity to support population growth in the town, as well as enabling access to new agricultural, business and education and training technologies for local businesses and residents, according to the RCP.
Known for its award-winning produce, Timboon (Djargurd Wurrung Country) is the picturesque wooded valley located along the Great Ocean Road.
This project will see the nbn™ access technology in Timboon change to FTTP.
The RCP says the upgrade will provide improved connectivity to support growth opportunities in tourism and hospitality, as well as existing dairying, forestry and lime production operations.
Wudinna, South Australia
Home to ‘The Australian Farmer’ statue, carved from local granite, Wudinna (Barngarla Country) resides on the state’s stunning Eyre Peninsula.
This project will see the nbn™ access technology in Wudinna change to FTTP. The upgrade will improve access to online education and health services, expand economic opportunities and increase connectedness and digital capabilities in the community.
Yirrkala, Northern Territory
Located in north-east Arnhem Land, Yirrkala (Rirratjingu Country) lies on the east coast of the Gove peninsula.
This project will see the nbn™ access technology in Yirrkala change to FTTP.
According to the RCP, the upgrade will support economic diversification opportunities in cultural tourism, creative industries and the health sector, as well as improving access to telehealth and education services.
Costa Group, Guyra and Falconer, New South Wales
Australia’s leading grower, packer and marketer of fresh fruit and vegetables, Costa Group employs more than 700 people across its two regional sites in Guyra and Falconer (Anaiwan Country), annually spending around $31 million on wages and salaries for the local economy.
This project will see the nbn™ access technology at Costa Group change to FTTP, as well as enable its sites to access business nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet.
The upgrade will support expanded business operations at the facility, including in administration, research and horticultural production, with benefits to the local economy through increased employment opportunities and regional output, according to the RCP.
Stay tuned for updates in future blogs as we follow the progress of these 16 exciting projects.
Get set to join us behind the scenes as the work unfolds, hear from our people on the ground, and meet some of the locals benefiting from the improved connectivity.
“This has been a truly collaborative effort between NBN Co, businesses and all levels of government,” says Gavin.
“It is a testament to what can be achieved when we work together and demonstrates our ongoing commitment to continuing to improve broadband services for Australia’s rural and regional communities.”
* An end customer’s experience, including the speeds actually achieved over the nbn™ network, depends on the nbn™ access network technology and configuration over which services are delivered to your premises, whether you are using the internet during the busy period, and some factors outside nbn’s control (like your equipment quality, software, broadband plan, signal reception and how your service provider designs its network). Speeds may also be impacted by the number of concurrent users on the nbn™ Fixed Wireless network, including during busy periods. Satellite end customers may also experience latency.
† Regardless of the retail service you purchase, the actual wholesale speeds delivered by the business nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet product will be no more than 952Mbps due to equipment and network limitations. If your service provider has not selected the 'Class of Service – High', the speeds you experience may be affected by contention on the nbn™ network, particularly in busy periods.