Broadband in the world: working for digital economy in Australian rural regions

Australians living in regional areas should take advantage of the digital economy now rather than waiting for the National Broadband Network to come to town

Broadband in the world: working for digital economy in Australian rural regions

A member of the Regional Telecommunications Independent Review Committee, broadband expert Robin Eckermann, said while the fixed fibre network was an important part of Australia’s digital future, the role of mobile telecommunications was more important in regional Australia. He sat on the review committee last year reporting on what needed to be done to improve regional communications.

During the review’s consultations, the issue of adequate mobile voice and broadband services was raised in every regional meeting and in about two-thirds of the submissions the committee received.
In its report on the review released earlier this year, the committee said it accepted there were “commercial limits” to expanding the regional mobile network, but it was “equally clear there is strong unmet demand in regional Australia” for such an expansion.

“The committee strongly believes that increased priority should be given to expanding the mobile coverage footprint in parts of regional Australia where it is not commercial to do so,” the report reads.
“There is an opportunity for all levels of government and local communities to work in partnership with carriers to extend the mobile network.”

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