Applications for the Australian Government's $53 million Regional Connectivity Program are now open.
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Federal Member for Calare, Andrew Gee said the program was a fantastic opportunity for regional development organisations, telecommunications providers and government organisations in the Calare community to collaborate on projects and apply for funding.
"Digital connectivity is a vital service, particularly for those in the bush. Improved connectivity makes it possible for country Australians to stay connected, access education, conduct business and remain in contact with family and friends," Mr Gee said.
"The Australian Government's Regional Connectivity Program will provide much needed investment in local telco infrastructure projects to maximise economic and social opportunities in country Australia, and ensure our regions stay connected.
"The Program compliments the existing Mobile Black Spot funding program, with a focus on both mobile and broadband connectivity.
"The Program takes a customised approach to regional connectivity, and recognises that country communities across Australia, from Queensland to Tasmania, have unique digital needs that require tailored solutions."
Examples of potential projects under the program include upgrades to mobile infrastructure to improve community access to telehealth, remote education and retail internet and phone services; and the development of enterprise-grade broadband networks to support local agricultural, manufacturing and tourism businesses to increase their online presence.
"This is a great opportunity for the Calare community, telecommunications providers and relevant stakeholders to join forces to develop targeted project proposals to improve services in our local area," Mr Gee said.
"It is crucial that our country communities continue to grow and prosper, and in this day and age it is not possible without access to the best possible communications networks and connectivity."
Applicants can register potential projects, share ideas, and link up with other regional communities and industry providers via the online Program Noticeboard.
Applications are open until 5pm Tuesday, October 20. The guidelines and application process is available on the Government's central grants website.
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