Better digital connections for regional communities24/05/2017
The 2017/18 Victorian Budget provides funding for better digital infrastructure to create more local jobs and enrich regional communities.
Regional Victoria will be connected like never before, with better broadband, mobile coverage and Wi-Fi hubs thanks to $45 million from the Budget for the Connecting Regional Communities Program (CRCP).
This investment is in response to all nine Regional Partnerships calling for improvements to digital infrastructure so local businesses, farmers and families have access to reliable internet.
The CRCP will develop region-specific strategies, with the Victorian Government working alongside each Regional Partnership to establish practical solutions that meet the digital needs and priorities of their communities. The program will also help improve mobile phone coverage in regional blackspots. Projects based on Regional Partnership Priorities include:
- Trials to improve broadband in industrial and business precincts in North Geelong, Morwell and Horsham
- Extending regional Victoria’s free Wi-Fi program, already implemented in Ballarat and Bendigo
- Internet of Things demonstration projects in the North West, Macalister, Serpentine and the Goulburn Murray region to help local businesses use the latest digital technology.
The CRCP adds to existing government support of regional mobile coverage and free public Wi-Fi projects. It is a vital step to providing better services so regional Victoria can participate more effectively in the state’s digital economy.