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Building better regional telecommunications

The release of the 2018 Regional Telecommunications Review this month, reinforces the Federal Government’s strategy to invest in telecommunications to build a stronger regional economy and help create jobs.

This independent review is conducted every three years to examine how people are using telecommunications services in regional, rural and remote parts of Australia.

The 2018 Regional Telecommunications Review: Getting it right out there puts forward 10 recommendations to improve access to telecommunications infrastructure, ensure modern and appropriate consumer protections and promote digital inclusion.

Federal Member for Durack and Minister for the Environment Melissa Price said that the review provides a pathway for the Federal Government to improve regional telecommunications that will support local small businesses, keep friends and family in contact and provide reliable communications in times of emergency.

“We are seeing the benefits already of our investment in regional telecommunications through more reliable services and strong uptake by business but we can’t afford to slow down,” Minister Price said.

“With better telecommunications, small business owners can grow their enterprise without being held back by the tyranny of distance as they know customers are only a click away.

“The review shows that there are many benefits that increased digital connectivity bring, with economic modelling showing that digital agriculture could increase the value of our agriculture industry by $20.3 billion and better telecommunication also drives a more successful tourism industry,” said Minister Price.

The Committee was the most consultative ever held, with 22 public sessions across the country, from Kalgoorlie to Katherine and Whyalla to Narrabri. More than 380 submissions were received from a range of individuals and organisations.

“The Federal Government continues to deliver better regional communications through the $220 million Mobile Black Spot Program and by prioritising the regional rollout of the NBN, more Australians outside of our cities are connected,” Minister Price said.

The government will respond to the Committee’s recommendations in early 2019. The final report is available at: www.communications.gov.au/regional-telecommunications-review

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