The Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) has thrown its support behind the national Regional, Rural and Remote Consumers Coalition (RRRCC).
RRRCC was formed with the express intent of highlighting the collective concerns of families, businesses, and communities about inequitable access to telecommunications services in rural and regional Australia.
As a coalition, RRRCC believe there are five fundamental outcomes that must be addressed to ensure equitable connectivity for regional and remote consumers.
- a universal service obligation that is technologically neutral and provides access to both voice and data
- customer service guarantees and reliability measures to underpin the provision of voice and data services, to deliver more accountability from providers and nbn
- long term public funding for open access mobile network expansion in rural and regional Australia
- fair and equitable access to Sky Muster for those with genuine a need for the service, and access which reflects the residential, educational, and business needs of rural and regional Australia
- fully resourced capacity building programs that build digital ability, and development of effective problem solving support for regional, rural, and remote businesses and consumers.
QFF President Stuart Armitage welcomed the partnership with the RRRCC.
“QFF’s member organisations collectively represent more than 13,000 primary producers across Queensland who rely on access to suitable telecommunications and internet services to support their businesses,” Stuart Armitage said.
“Queensland farm businesses are modern, innovative, and require access to ‘big data’ services to ensure they can take advantage of the opportunities currently before them. This requires not only attention to ‘mobile blackspots’, but also suitable download and upload speeds.
“The current level of mobile and internet service available to farm businesses in regional Queensland is just not good enough. It is stifling our sector and our communities, and their ability to properly benefit from positive innovations available to other Australians.
“If the Federal Government is fair-dinkum about its decentralisation agenda and attracting businesses to rural and regional communities to create more opportunities, addressing the telecommunications shortfalls that exist is a fundamental building block.
“QFF look forward to working within the RRRCC to ensure that Queensland agriculture is able to realise its envious potential through the support of a modern and reliable telecommunications network.”