Improved digital connectivity for northern NSW

Country Broadband Network managing director Trent Murray with Regional Communications Minister Mark Coulton in Boggabilla.
Country Broadband Network managing director Trent Murray with Regional Communications Minister Mark Coulton in Boggabilla.

People living and working in northern NSW can look forward to new and improved telecommunications services.

The Federal Government's $90 million Regional Connectivity Program (RCP) is delivering 81 place-based digital connectivity solutions in regional Australia through a range of mobile and broadband services.

Regional Communications Minister, Mark Coulton, announced the details of the project, being delivered by Goondiwindi-based Country Broadband Network (CBN), which will boost connectivity by extending CBN's existing fixed wireless network in the region.

"I'm thrilled that residents and businesses in and around Boggabilla will enjoy the benefits and opportunities that improved digital connectivity brings," Mr Coulton said. "Country Broadband Network has received $130,000 in Commonwealth Government funding for the project, which will provide people in the area 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."

CBN managing director, Trent Murray, said the project involved the deployment of two towers south of Goondiwindi.

One of these towers comprises of a 30-metre lattice, and the other involves the installation of transmission equipment on an existing grain elevator site along the Newell Highway.

"Based in Goondiwindi, we'd previously been unable to reach the NSW side of the border economically, so this funding will allow us to provide coverage to the Northern NSW community without passing large infrastructure costs onto the end users," Mr Murray said.

"We strive to extend our network to enable more connections in regional areas that are currently underserved."

Mr Coulton said the RCP was part of the Coalition 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," he 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.

"We're doing things differently and looking at a range of innovative approaches to ensure we fill the gaps in blackspot areas across the country.

"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."

The Federal Government is contributing $90.3 million to the RCP, generating total new investment of more than $164 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.