The Mid-West and West Midlands are set for vast improvement in reliability and affordability of high-speed internet with the State Government committing $1m through whole-sale network company Logic IT Solutions.
The funding will support two projects delivering high-speed, enterprise grade broadband services to an estimated 130 farming enterprises, over an area of 13,500 square kilometres.
It builds on the success of the first round of the Digital Farm program, which has delivered high-speed broadband to farmers in the Chapman Valley and North Midlands.
The two projects will deliver a fixed wireless network from Geraldton to Mullewa to improve speeds and fill the gaps, along with a fixed wireless network for the Dandaragan area.
The Digital Farm Grants Program supplements existing and wireless National Broadband Network infrastructure.
The program has extended broadband to more than 1,200 agribusinesses, across 41,000 square kilometres from Kununurra to the Great Southern over the past 12 months.
Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan stressed the importance of increasing digital infrastructure in these areas.
“Reliable, enterprise-grade broadband is absolutely critical for modern farming businesses to remain competitive in a 21st century market,” she said.
“These two projects in the Mid-West and West Midlands build on the rollout in the regions under round one of the Digital Farm program, filling the gaps and ensuring farmers across the northern grainbelt have access to high-speed broadband.
“Both projects will use, where possible, existing towers deployed from the first round of the program to extend further into rural areas where connectivity is lacking.”