The Regional, Rural and Remote Communications Coalition (RRRCC) met with members of the National Broadband Network (nbn) executive team yesterday to discuss ways of improving broadband access in rural, regional and remote Australia.
The meeting was instigated by nbn following almost 12 months of extensive activity by the RRRCC to raise awareness of the challenges consumers in rural, regional and remote areas continue to face.
“As a sector we have consistently said that telecommunications represents the next frontier for agriculture. We have discussed what we believe the future of agriculture will look like and what we need to make that happen,” said NFF spokesperson, Georgie Somerset.
“As a Coalition we continue to be frustrated about the untapped economic potential of having poor regional telecommunications and broadband services.
“The broad farm sector are readying themselves for the next revolution in agricultural productivity, however, the consistent message we have heard is that there is still a major hurdle to achieving this – connectivity.”
“The RRRCC has been working tirelessly since its inception to bring our concerns to key stakeholders including politicians, the Australian Government, major telecommunications companies and nbn,” Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) CEO, Teresa Corbin said.
Ms Somerset said there had been a lot happening in the telecommunications space in 2017 including the introduction of the Telecommunications Reform Package and the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into the Universal Service Obligation.
"All of these processes have identified Broadband as a key need for farmers.”
“Access to broadband for farmers means more than Netflix and conducting business services online.
"It is about bringing one of the pillars of the Australian economy into the 21st century so that it can take advantage of the wonderful technologies and innovations that many of our competitors take for granted."
“I would like to thank Bill Morrow, Chief Executive Officer and the nbn executive team for taking the time to meet with us face-to-face and providing us the opportunity to make agriculture central to their considerations.”
“While there still much work to be done we have agreed that we can work together constructively to make the data drought a thing of the past,” Ms Somerset said.