Rural and regional NSW communities on a satellite internet service are set for improved digital connectivity with the announcement of NSW Government’s reprioritising its $100 million Gig State project.
The project will redirect investment in locations with no planned service upgrades, which haven’t already received significant Federal and private sector investment.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the state government is acting on the market’s response to Gig State’s original announcement.
“Telecommunications is traditionally a Federal responsibility, and it’s great the Commonwealth Government and private sector delivered improved internet service in some of Gig State’s original locations, but the job is not done yet,” Mr Toole said. “All regional communities deserve the same fast and reliable internet service as those in the city and we will continue to take a leadership role, pivoting our investment to where it’s needed most.”
The refreshed project will also trial a range of emerging technologies, such as low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites to assess the best options in communities in hard to service areas.
A Request for Information (RFI) will be released in the coming weeks, followed by an open market process in mid-2022 that will invite telecommunications providers to submit options for improving internet service across a number of priority locations.
Mr Toole said Gig State would deliver solutions for Wamboin, Bywong and Sutton, as well as upgrading internet connectivity along the Cobar corridor, including Nyngan, Trangie, Narromine and Cobar, as initially proposed.
“We are committed to delivering viable, long-term solutions that meet the needs of communities now and into the future, and will continue to work with government and industry stakeholders to address the digital connectivity divide,” Mr Toole said.
Gig State is a key component of the $400 million Regional Digital Connectivity program, under the Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund.