A message from Paul Fletcher, Federal Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts
Access to 21st-century communications is more important than ever before, particularly for those living in regional and rural Australia.
Across the 7.7 million square kilometres of our vast nation more than a third of Australians choose to live in regional and remote Australia.
The distances are enormous - and making sure that every Australian can be connected to a high speed broadband network is a formidable challenge.
This is why the Federal Government has been so focused on delivering ubiquitous access to the national broadband network (NBN).
When we formed government in 2013, we prioritised the broadband rollout to the most underserved areas of the country. It is because of this approach that the NBN is available to more than 90% of regional Australian homes and businesses.
With the rollout on track to be completed next year, we are seeing social and economic benefits flow through to regional Australia.
Research conducted by economics firm Alpha Beta forecast that by FY2021, the NBN would contribute an additional $5.3 billion in additional gross domestic product and an additional 20,000 jobs in regional Australia.
This is not surprising given businesses which need high speed connectivity are now able to locate in regional areas thanks to the connectivity NBN provides.
We are committed to delivering essential telecommunications infrastructure to regional communities, and have allocated $220 million towards the Stronger Regional Digital Connectivity Package, which includes:
- $160 million for two new rounds of the Mobile Black Spot Program;
- $60 million for a new Regional Connectivity Program; and
- a digital tech hub to improve digital literacy.
The focus of our government is to leverage the NBN for economic and social advantage; continue the delivery of our successful Mobile Black Spot Program; maintain the universal service obligation (USO); and keep working to improve connectivity so people in regional and remote Australia can lead better and more connected lives.
Making sure every Australian can be connected to a high speed broadband network is a formidable challenge.
Read the second edition of Future Focus magazine, Connecting our Potential by clicking here.