Regional Connectivity Program guidelines open for consultation

Wednesday, 26 February, 2020

Regional Connectivity Program guidelines open for consultation

Draft grant opportunity guidelines for Australia’s Regional Connectivity Program are up for discussion in the project’s final public consultation round.

The three-week consultation will see communities, governments and telcos weigh in on the proposed application process as well as eligibility and assessment criteria for those hoping to participate in the $53 million grants program, designed to improve internet accessibility in regional, rural and remote communities. 

The program is set to prioritise bespoke mobile and broadband solutions that complement the National Broadband Network (nbn) over ‘one-size-fits-all’ approaches and hopes to support local agriculture, tourism and resources sectors while addressing health and educational priorities, Australian Communications, Cyber Safety and Arts Minister Paul Fletcher said.

“People living and working in our regions need access to fast and reliable telecommunications to go about almost every aspect of their lives. I encourage everyone who is interested to have their say on the guidelines,” Australian Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government Minister Mark Coulton said. 

“The Regional Connectivity Program will make it easier for people in remote areas to communicate and help to address the tyranny of distance for businesses, so it’s important we receive a range of feedback to get this program right.”

Consultation is open via the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications’ website until 5 pm AEDT on Friday, 13 March 2020.

An online noticeboard has also been created, allowing communities, governments, regional development authorities, industry, business and telecommunications providers to develop potential Regional Connectivity Program projects.

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