People living in Avenel can look forward to new and improved telecommunications services thanks to the Federal Government’s Regional Connectivity Program.

Federal Member for Nicholls, Damian Drum, today announced that funding of almost $500,000 would go towards upgrading the capacity of the existing Telstra 4G macro cell base stations in both Avenel and Avenel South.

“The Avenel community and Strathbogie Shire have long been campaigning for better connectivity in this area, and it’s the Federal Government that’s delivering it,” Mr Drum said.

“I’m thrilled that residents and businesses in Avenel will enjoy the benefits and opportunities that improved digital connectivity brings.”

Mr Drum said funding for the Avenel upgrade was on top of almost $4.5 million in federal funding (announced in late April) that would result in the upgrade of NBN access technology from fixed wireless to NBN fibre to the premises in Murchison and Rushworth.

As part of that earlier RCP announcement, the Kobyboyn community, east of Seymour, also received funding of $346,500 for a 4G macro cell base station, which will support projected community growth in the region and new business development in the north of the Mitchell Shire.

“These projects will provide residents and business owners in those communities with access to improved broadband services and data, delivering fast, affordable, and reliable connectivity,” Mr Drum said.

“This will help keep our businesses connected and allow better access to health, education and other online services.”

Minister for Regional Communications, Mark Coulton, said the Federal Government was listening to the needs of regional communities and businesses.

“This next tranche of projects under the Regional Connectivity Program will make an on-the-ground difference for local communities,” Mr Coulton said.

“I am pleased with the quality of projects being put forward – tailored to the needs of each region and supported by the community.

“This is 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.”

Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, said the RCP investments would provide targeted uplifts to connectivity in regional areas that needed it most.

The Federal Government is contributing $117.4 million to the first round of the RCP, generating new investment of more than $232 million through co-contributions from funding recipients, state and territory governments, and other third parties, such as local governments, regional businesses, and community development organisations.

Additionally, the Federal Government has made further funding of $106 million available for a second round of the RCP program. Applications will open later this year.

The delivery of projects under the RCP will begin shortly, with most to be completed by mid-next year.

More information is available here.


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