Telstra says it will “invest almost $16 million and, together with almost $26 million from the Australian Government and over $13 million from state and local governments” and this will “provide outcomes that will help improve connectivity and communications to regional and remote communities across Australia.”
Nationally, major Telstra delivered projects will include an $9.8m infrastructure upgrade on King Island (Tas), an $8.3m fibre upgrade in East Arnhem (NT), a $6.3m network upgrade in Gippsland (Vic) a $5.6m network upgrade in Far North SA and a $5.3m transmission upgrade to Mornington Island (QLD).
A further 25 projects primarily delivering improved mobile coverage will be undertaken at a total cost of over $19.3m.
In announcing the outcomes of this program, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack said that “digital connectivity has become an essential part of how we work, learn, stay healthy and remain in contact with loved ones, and it is particularly critical to sustaining productivity growth and innovation in our regional communities.”
Telstra says it “fully supports this sentiment”, with Nikos Katinakis, Telstra’s Networks and IT Group Executive stating: “Improving telecommunications in regional and remote Australia is a challenging and expensive task, and joint funding partnerships are essential in helping make this happen.
“Delivering telecommunications to these areas can require a range of technologies and infrastructure, and Telstra welcomed the flexibility that this program offered in how these outcomes could be delivered.
“Like the Mobile Black Spot Program, Telstra is pleased to be a part of this Federal Government initiated Program that will see connectivity improvements come to some of our most remote communities”, Katinakis concluded.
Telstra reminds us of its “long history of investing in regional Australia and in the five years to end June 2020,” noting that it has invested $3bn in building and improving its mobile network in regional areas."
Telstra’s also reminds us that its mobile network “is the largest in Australia and has more than 10,700 mobile base stations covering more than 2.5 million square kilometres and reaching 99.5% of the Australian population”, with this regional commitment “further supported by Telstra’s rollout of 5G across the country. There are now more than 3,100 Telstra 5G sites on-air in more than 160 cities and towns and Telstra expects to roll out its 5G network to 75% of the population by the end of June 2021.”
More information on the Regional Connectivity Program is here.