The New South Wales government will fund fibre backhaul out to regional areas of the state and help fund the construction of data centres as part of a new initiative unveiled today.
The $100 million ‘Gig State’ initiative is one of the priorities in a broader $400 million Regional Digital Connectivity Package. Telcos will be able to leverage the infrastructure to deliver better services in regional NSW, the government said. Gig State is still in its design phase.
The package also includes $300 million to fund mobile towers to deliver coverage in blackspot areas.
The funding is through the state government’s $4.2 billion Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund.
“Residents and businesses are crying out for better mobile coverage and data connectivity in regional and rural NSW and this investment will not only deliver that but it will make our regional towns stronger,” said John Barilaro, the state’s deputy premier and minister for regional NSW.
“Connectivity is at the heart of everything we do from running a business, getting produce from paddock to port, staying in touch with family or having a lifeline to emergency services,” the deputy premier said in a statement.
Barilaro said that although historically it was a federal responsibility, the state government had decided to step in because of the “urgent need for Internet and mobile connectivity in regional NSW”.
“We know that in order to keep up with today’s society you have to be connected and that is why we are making the largest investment by any State government into regional connectivity,” he said.