Regional Connectivity Program

The Regional Connectivity Program (RCP) is a grants program funding the delivery of 'place-based' telecommunications infrastructure projects to improve digital connectivity across regional, rural and remote Australia.

Under the RCP Rounds 1 and 2, the Government's commitment of $230 million (GST exclusive) has generated a total investment of around $413 million (GST exclusive) to deliver 223 telecommunications projects in regional, rural and remote Australia.

Round 3

As part of the Australian Government's Better Connectivity Plan for Regional and Rural Australia (Better Connectivity Plan), funding is available for competitive grants through Round 3 of the RCP.

This is a combined grant opportunity up to $160 million, bringing together the Mobile Black Spot Program (MBSP) and the RCP in two streams, to improve mobile and broadband connectivity in regional, rural and First Nations communities across Australia:

  • A $110 million Regional Connectivity (Round 3) stream for place-based solutions that deliver new or upgraded broadband services or upgraded mobile services in eligible locations across Australia; and
  • A $50 million Mobile Black Spot (Round 7) stream that delivers new handheld mobile coverage to rural, regional and remote locations across Australia.

This $160 million funding includes $32.5 million (GST exclusive) dedicated to improving telecommunications services in First Nations communities and contribute towards achieving Target 17 of the Closing the Gap initiative, which aims to ensure First Nations people have equal levels of digital inclusion by 2026. The funding comprises:

  • $15 million (GST exclusive) under the Regional Connectivity (Round 3) stream for solutions that improve telecommunications infrastructure in First Nations communities across eligible locations in Australia; and a further $10 million (GST exclusive) for solutions aimed at improving digital connectivity for First Nations communities in Central Australia.
  • $7.5 million (GST exclusive) under the Mobile Black Spot (Round) 7 stream for solutions that provide new mobile coverage in First Nations communities

Applications for RCP Round 3 funding closed on 11 August 2023. Applications are now being competitively assessed. The outcomes will be announced after this process has been completed.

The opportunity to comment on the Draft Grant Opportunity Guidelines for this combined Round was provided through public consultation from 20 December 2022 until 10 February 2023. You can view public submissions on the department's Have Your Say page.

The Better Connectivity Plan commitment will build on the outcomes delivered under the previous rounds of the RCP.

Round 2

Round 2 of the RCP is providing $137.2 million (GST inclusive) from 2022 to 2024 to improve telecommunications infrastructure in regional and remote Australia. This funding will leverage a total investment of $226 million for the delivery of projects across Australia.

This includes Australian Government funding of $69.6 million (GST inclusive) for projects through the Connecting Northern Australia initiative (CNA initiative) and funding of $67.6 million (GST inclusive) for projects in regions across other parts of Australia.

Round 1

The first round of the RCP is providing $115.8 million (GST inclusive) in Commonwealth funding for 129 place-based telecommunications infrastructure projects across Australia, providing regional communities with significant upgrades to voice and data services.

Funded projects include new and improved mobile voice and data coverage, fixed wireless and fibre broadband services, and improved microwave and fibre backhaul capacity to locations across regional, rural and remote Australia. Improved connectivity through the RCP will allow regional communities and businesses to access essential online services, utilise new business tools and connect with the digital economy.

Additional information and resources