Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien is encouraging local regional development organisations, telecommunications providers and government organisations to apply for funding to improve telecommunications infrastructure in Wide Bay.

Mr O’Brien said applications for the Australian Government’s $53 million Regional Connectivity Program are now open, with the program providing targeted investment in local telco infrastructure projects to maximise economic and social opportunities in regional and remote communities.

“Regional areas like Wide Bay have distinct digital needs and sometimes, a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work with existing infrastructure or meet the needs of our communities, so we’re encouraging collaboration between organisations and telcos to come up with great telecommunications solutions tailored to our regional locations,” Mr O’Brien said.

Examples of projects that could be funded under the program include upgrades to mobile infrastructure to improve community access to telehealth, remote education and retail internet and phone services, or the development of enterprise-grade broadband networks to support local agricultural, manufacturing and tourism businesses to increase their online presence.

“We’re looking for projects that will provide the most significant benefit to local communities and by collaboration between organisations with local knowledge and telcos, I’m confident we will see many great solutions come from Wide Bay to improve services in Wide Bay,” Mr O’Brien said.

“I encourage applicants to use the Program Noticeboard to share their ideas and work together on proposals to improve connectivity for Wide Bay] and drive benefits for our communities.”

The online Program Noticeboard provides a portal for collaboration where applicants can find and register potential projects, linking regional communities and industry providers.

Applications are open until 20 October 2020 (5:00pm AEDT). The guidelines and application process is available on the Government’s central grants website: www.grants.gov.au


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