Regional communities need access to the very best mobile phone and internet services; it’s essential digital infrastructure for homes, businesses and emergency services.

That’s why the Nationals in Government have allocated $400 million over the next four years to significantly improve data services throughout the regions, including the development of a data hub at Dubbo.

Nationals Member for the Dubbo electorate Dugald Saunders said the Connect Regional NSW program will revolutionise the way we live in the regions by building data hubs and investing in backhaul to improve internet connectivity.

“This unparalleled investment is a turning point in connectivity for our region,” Mr Saunders said. “The $400 million Connect Regional NSW program will deliver faster internet speeds, better mobile phone coverage, and a potential future of 5G connectivity.”

 

The Connect Regional NSW program will focus on three priority areas:

• Internet and data – Dubbo and Wagga Wagga will be the first locations to investigate the design of data hubs and fibre-optic cables to make internet connectivity faster and more reliable.

• Farm and water – Infrastructure to enhance competitiveness and productivity for our farming industry.

• Mobile – eliminating mobile black spots where people live and work.

  

“Dubbo has been chosen as the initial location to investigate and design the future digital infrastructure for regional NSW,” Mr Saunders said. “Technical studies and stakeholder engagement are already underway and the work done here will help shape the digital future for the rest of regional NSW.”

The Nationals in Government will now explore other locations for this infrastructure in regional NSW. No decisions have been made on the final locations for this infrastructure.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said this was a turning point for connectivity in the regions.

“Our regions aren’t backwaters and this program ensures that everyone across our state gets the very best in digital connectivity,” Mr Barilaro said.

“The NSW Nationals have delivered 156 new mobile phone towers in NSW since 2015, which has allowed 6000 more Triple Zero emergency calls to be made, and that is just the beginning.”

Deputy Premier John Barilaro

“Connect Regional NSW will bring access to services you need, from emergency services to agribusiness and farming industries, without the worry of whether they have mobile phone reception, or a strong enough internet signal,” Mr Barilaro said.

The Connect Regional NSW program is being funded by the $4.2 billion Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund, which is dedicated to being spent on transformative infrastructure in regional NSW.