The Better Connectivity Plan for Regional and Rural Australia is providing $656 million to improve mobile and broadband connectivity and resilience in rural and regional Australia.
The Better Connectivity Plan for Regional and Rural Australia was announced in the 2022–23 Budget and forms a key part of the Australian Government's telecommunications agenda.
Funding under the Plan is available over five years and includes:
- $400 million to boost multi-carrier mobile coverage on regional roads, improve mobile coverage in under-served regional and remote communities, and increase the resilience of communications services and public safety communications facilities
- $200 million for two additional rounds of the Regional Connectivity Program to invest in place-based digital connectivity infrastructure projects in regional communities
- $30 million for on-farm connectivity, so farmers can take advantage of connected machinery and sensor technology
- $20 million to conduct an independent audit of mobile coverage to better identify black spots and guide investment priorities, and
- $6 million to boost funding for the Regional Tech Hub, which supports regional consumers to access advice and support on digital connectivity options.
The Better Connectivity Plan will drive productivity and improve equity for rural and regional communities. Improvements in digital connectivity deliver some of the most tangible and widespread benefits across a huge range of areas including economic and social participation and equality, access to online government, health and education services, and public safety including on roads and during disasters and emergencies.
The Government's investment through the Plan complements other measures to improve digital connectivity for all Australians, including by enhancing the National Broadband Network (NBN) so that no-one is held back or left behind by lack of access to high-speed broadband.
Measures under the Plan are expected to rollout over the coming months. More information, including latest updates, will be available as each program develops.