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Nationals WA committed to better regional broadband

For more information, contact Dave Grills Grills (Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region).

The Nationals WA will invest $42 million to fast track broadband technologies to ensure businesses and communities across regional WA have access to fast, reliable internet if re-elected on March 11.

Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Dave Grills MLC said The Nationals WA weren’t satisfied with the level of coverage or technology currently being rolled out under the NBN.

"WA’s vast geographical size and the associated costs mean NBN and other providers won’t provide adequate broadband coverage to many areas in remote and regional WA," Mr Grills said.

"Our communities need to be connected, and The Nationals don’t believe regional people should be disadvantaged because of where they live.

"We believe the NBN should provide fixed wireless technology to all towns in regional WA, with greater than 100 potential connections, at a minimum."

Mr Grills said The Nationals WA were not content with the choice of technology being rolled out across these areas in WA and would invest $20 million to ensure communities were not disadvantaged by the growing digital divide between urban and rural areas.

"The deployment of technology could be undertaken through the NBN’s technology choice program or through alternative service providers with expertise in the field," Mr Grills said.

Under the plan, The Nationals WA have also funded the State Agricultural Telecommunications Infrastructure Improvement Fund announced earlier this year.

"This $22 million fund facilitate the construction of high-priority innovative agricultural telecommunications infrastructure and technology in regional WA," Mr Grills said.

Mr Grills said the funding was part of The Nationals’ $69 million commitment to improve regional telecommunications over five years.

The Nationals’ $69 million investment into regional telecommunications will include:

• $42 million to roll out broadband solutions in regional WA

• $20 million to continue the Regional Telecommunications Project

• $5 million to develop a Local Government Wi-Fi Fund

• $1.5 million to combat the rise of illegal repeaters by offering a subsidy for legal equipment

• $500,000 to advise on new and existing fibre opportunities

"The Nationals’ have a plan to ensure people living in the Mining and Pastoral Region, from the Goldfields to the Kimberley, are better connected," Mr Grills said.

"Our plan centres on developing broadband technologies, continuing the hugely successful Regional Telecommunications Project, curbing the use of illegal mobile repeaters and inquiring into the efficiency of the State’s existing fibre network."

For more information, please visit www.nationalswa.com/policies

For media enquiries contact Dave Grills MLC on (08) 90711 500 or email dave.grills@mp.wa.gov.au