Digital and telecommunications connectivity is a key enabler of economic growth. To embrace and adapt to a changing education, workforce and social environment, communities are requiring better quality connections with competitive speeds and reliable access. Given the location of the region, historically the provision of these services has been a challenge for local councils and private entities alike.
In mid-2017, we engaged Gravelroad Consulting to deliver a thorough audit of the region’s digital capabilities across a range of internet connectivity options, and provide some direction for the Central Highlands Regional Council in the form of an Action Plan. The Audit aimed to understand and identify the region’s critical gaps in digital infrastructure by conducting a range of mapping, community consultations and industry outreach activities. The Action Plan took those identified gaps and challenges, and will be able to provide the critical framework required to underpin all digital connectivity projects for the region.
From these reports, we know that:
- Connectivity is critical for established and growing industries (such as agriculture), which are capitalising on improved technology and data systems to maximise profit and output;
- In many parts of Australia, particularly regional and remote areas, economies of scale do not permit the provision of high-density services seen in larger metropolitan and urban areas;
- More than 6,200 premises already have access to NBN fixed services;
- All 13 townships in the Central Highlands region will have access to either fixed NBN or SkyMuster services;
- At least seven townships have poor mobile coverage, with some townships already identified by Council to be priorities for national Mobile Blackspot funding.
We wish to thank Gravelroad Consulting, the community and the Central Highlands Regional Council for their support in delivering the DTAAP.
For more information on the DTAAP and how it impacts you, please contact us.