Digital connectivity boost in Western Australia helps farm productivity

Farms in Western Australia will soon be able to work easier with the installation of high-quality broadband.

One-million-dollars is being provided to the project in Kununurra and the Ord River Irrigation area.

Two adjacent networks will be deployed to cover more than 40 farm businesses over almost 1,700 square kilometres as part of the Digital Farm initiative to bridge the ‘digital divide’ in regional Western Australia.

The grants have been allocated to extend broadband access to areas that are not adequately serviced by the NBN fixed wireless and fixed line footprint.

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Agriculture and food minister Alannah MacTiernan said the new digital network will help to drive agricultural productivity and expansion in the Ord, and will provide existing growers with a competitive edge in a global market.

“This grant will initially provide coverage to around 40 businesses along the Ord – including large-scale, high-intensity horticultural properties – and we expect uptake will increase as the Ord continues to grow.

“Modern businesses – no matter where they are located – require a high-quality broadband service to be able to operate in an increasingly competitive global environment,” said MacTiernan.

“This program has responded to a dire need for digital connection in the regions and successfully attracted commercial investment to deliver broadband services to businesses and residents throughout our State.

“Regional businesses and residents will get to enjoy the benefits of a fast and reliable broadband service as the telecommunications infrastructure is installed,” she said.

The new network will provide a fast, reliable, digital service to agricultural businesses in Kununurra, the industrial area, and the southern and central parts of the Ord River farmland.

These are the final projects from the first round of Digital Farm Grants, worth a total of $5 million, providing access to affordable, scalable broadband to more than 1,240 enterprises across 41,000 square kilometres of the Kimberley, Mid-West, Wheatbelt, Peel, South-West and Great Southern regions.