Photo caption: Federal Member for Parkes and Regional Communications Minister Mark Coulton (right) met with Bourke Shire Council Mayor Barry Hollman to announce that Field Solutions Group has been successful in receiving funding to deploy a fixed wireless network in the shire.
People living and working in the Bourke shire can now look forward to new and improved telecommunications services thanks to the Federal Government’s Regional Connectivity Program (RCP).
Federal Member for Parkes and Regional Communications Minister Mark Coulton today announced that Field Solutions Group (FSG) has received $589,712 in funding to deploy a fixed wireless network in the Bourke shire.
“I’m thrilled that residents and businesses in Bourke will enjoy the benefits and opportunities that improved digital connectivity brings,” Mr Coulton said.
“FSG will use this funding to extend high-speed broadband connectivity into areas in the Bourke region with limited existing coverage, enabling the uptake of new agricultural and business technologies.
“This project will help keep our businesses connected, allow our families to stay in touch and provide people in Bourke with greater access to telehealth and education services.”
FSG specialises in delivering connectivity solutions to rural, regional and remote Australia and over the past four years has developed and operates the largest national non-NBN fixed wireless network.
With the Federal Government’s support under the RCP, FSG will deliver new networks in 16 traditionally underserviced areas across Australia, where true broadband and general connectivity services are greatly lacking.
“We are excited to be adding Bourke to our coverage footprint,” FSG CEO Andrew Roberts said.
“FSG’s community approach to building telecommunications infrastructure has been recognised as a viable, cost-effective and forward-looking way of delivering true broadband solutions for rural, regional and remote areas.
“In the coming months FSG will be adding 5G, mobility and IoT to our products.”
Mr Coulton said the Government was listening to the needs of regional communities and businesses and was pleased to see the RCP being used to support the design and delivery place-based solutions which solved rural connectivity issues.
“This next tranche of projects under the Regional Connectivity Program will make a difference on the ground for local communities,” Mr Coulton said.
“I am pleased with the quality of projects being put forward which are tailored to the needs of each region and are supported by the community; a result of a collaborative approach between the telecommunications industry, businesses, regional communities and local councils.
“Connectivity – digital and physical – is vital for regional Australia to fulfil its full potential to do business, work and raise a family, no more so than now with the unprecedented interest in people living and working in a regional area.”
The Federal Government is contributing a total of $117.4 million (GST inclusive) to the first round of the RCP, generating total new investment of more than $232 million (GST inclusive) through co-contributions from funding recipients, state and territory governments and other third parties, such as local governments, regional businesses and community development organisations.
In addition, the Government has made further funding of $105.8 million available for a second round of the program and will call for applications later this year, following consultation of program guidelines.
The delivery of successful projects under the Program will begin shortly, with most projects to be completed by June 2022.
More information about the RCP is available at: communications.gov.au/what-we-do/internet/regional-connectivity-program