More work needed to close bush connectivity gap

The connectivity needs of regional, rural and remote Australians have been highlighted ahead of 2021-22’s Federal Budget with the release of the Regional, Rural and Remote Communications Coalition (RRRCC)’s latest ‘Priorities for Action’.

The RRRCC has recognised and acknowledged the positive response of governments to the asks and successful advocacy of the RRRCC’s 21 member organisations.

“The passage of the Telecommunications Reform Package and the successful design and promotion of the newly created Regional Tech Hub are two examples of where Government has listened to the needs of regional communities,” Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) CEO, Teresa Corbin said.

“Now in its fifth year of advocacy, the RRRCC has made considerable progress in raising the profile of communication needs for regional, rural and remote Australians. However, there is still a long way to go to close the digital divide.

“There continues to be significant inequities between communities, solely based on their geographical location. In our growing digital world, telecommunications should be treated as an essential service delivering business, education and essential health services.”

National Farmers’ Federation CEO Tony Mahar said the widespread adoption of digital agriculture in regional Australia had the potential to add more than $20 billion to Australia’s bottom line.

“In the upcoming budget, the RRRCC are looking to find a $400 million commitment over four years to establish a Rural, Regional and Remote Communications Fund.

“This commitment would resource ongoing investment in regional telecommunications and enable and foster innovation and growth in regional communities,” Mr Mahar said.

The goals document outlines the five goals of the RRRCC. These goals remain constant and are the focus of the work of the RRRCC. Under each of these goals are a number of refreshed asks.

  • Guaranteed access to voice and data services.
  • Equitable voice and data services that meet minimum standards and reliability.
  • Continued Program to expand mobile coverage.
  • Digital capacity building for regional, rural, and remote Australia.
  • Affordable communications services for regional, rural, and remote Australia.

Learn more about the RRRCC’s five goals here

Source: RRRCC