A further 950 businesses in the Nicholls electorate will benefit from cheaper and faster broadband with NBN Co today announcing the establishment of Business Fibre Zones in Tatura and Yarrawonga.
Federal Member for Nicholls, Damian Drum, said Tatura and Yarrawonga now join Echuca and Shepparton as towns within Nicholls that are home to a BFZ.
For businesses within these zones, NBN Co is offering enterprise ethernet to service providers with no up-front build costs.
Mr Drum said the new BFZs would allow local businesses to access fibre with speeds of up to one gigabit per second – enabling a range of new opportunities that previously weren’t possible.
“This has the potential to revitalise and reshape our region,” Mr Drum said.
“Access to high speed internet will allow local businesses to grow and thrive, break into new markets, and secure our long-term growth potential.
“Whether it be digital connectivity or something else, the increasing number of people and businesses that are choosing to base themselves regionally should have access to the same technology and services as their city counterparts and at the same cost.”
Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor, Kim O’Keeffe, said Tatura was a key agricultural and industrial hub and this latest investment would help advance its digital capability.
“We have seen many businesses look towards digital solutions over the past 18 months and this will assist further in supporting their needs as connectivity becomes more of a priority,” Ms O’Keeffe said.
“It is great news for our region.”
Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, announced 44 new BFZs nationally, bringing the total number to 284.
Mr Fletcher said the BFZs would help thousands of businesses participate in the digital economy on an equal footing.
“As we manage and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, investment in local business communications infrastructure will ensure that businesses can recover quickly, while taking advantage of domestic and international markets,” Mr Fletcher said.
“Improving access to high speed, reliable, and high quality broadband is a key part of the Federal Government’s communications agenda, which is why we are investing directly in the electorate of Nicholls.”
Today’s announcement will support an additional 60,000 eligible businesses across Australia, taking the total number of businesses within a BFZ to 850,000 – of which nearly 300,000 are in regional Australia.
This extension to NBN Co’s BFZ initiative builds on the $700 million package announced last year to transform the accessibility and affordability of business-grade fibre and allow small to medium businesses to embrace growth opportunities.
The announcement comes as research by Frontier Economics found NBN Co’s business fibre investments were expected to contribute up to $7.2 billion annually to the economy by 2024.
This research also forecasts productivity benefits for businesses of up to 12 per cent, with regional areas particularly set to benefit.
For more information about the BFZs initiative, including pricing options, visit the NBN Co website.