The State Government is closing the digital gap in regional WA, bringing high-speed broadband rural WA farms.
Funding will be allocated in first round of the Digital Farm program for the internet service to boost agricultural productivity and employment.
“As technology advances, so does the need for high-speed connectivity: regional Western Australia cannot afford to be left behind in the digital age,” premier Mark McGowan said.
“This investment will help give our farmers the competitive edge to grow their industry and create job opportunities across regional WA.”
The McGowan Government will provide $2.3 million to four successful applicants, who have matched funding to provide a high-speed broadband service outside of the National Broadband Network (NBN).
Digital Farm will extend services to more than 1,100 farming businesses in the North Midlands and Great Southern, Chapman Valley, Mount Barker, Wickepin and Goodlands.
The program has increased commercial investment by extending digital services in rural areas, allowing farmers to adopt new technology in new business.
Agriculture minister Allanah MacTiernan said fast internet was vital in regional areas that was currently absent.
“Our farm businesses need access to a fast, reliable broadband service to be able to operate in today’s increasingly sophisticated, competitive global environment,” Ms MacTiernan said.
“The Turnbull Government’s NBN has failed regional Western Australia, with the Skymuster satellite service unable to cope with the needs of modern agricultural businesses.”
She said it was “critical for agricultural jobs and regional development.”
“The new services will be rolled out as the infrastructure is completed, providing more rural businesses and people living in the regions with a fast, reliable, affordable and scalable broadband service,” Ms MacTiernan said.
A further round of recipients are expected for the program in coming months.