The Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) has joined the chorus of farming and regional community organisations calling for the Federal Government to allocate funding to address the shortcomings of the telecommunications network in rural and regional Australia.
Following the Australian Competition and Consumers Commission’s (ACCC) draft decision not to declare wholesale domestic mobile roaming, it is essential that Federal and State governments work together to bolster the regional network and improve telecommunications services.
QFF President Stuart Armitage has called on the Federal Government to remember rural and regional Queensland in Tuesday’s Budget (May 2017) and fund the telecommunications upgrades that are vitally needed.
“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 better connectivity and improvements to download and upload speeds.
“The current level of mobile and internet service available to farm businesses is just not good enough. New technologies will underpin the next wave of productivity gains for our sector, which depend on a modern and reliable telecommunications network.”
Mr Armitage also called on the Queensland Government to commit to on-going funding for mobile base stations in the upcoming State Budget.
“The Queensland Government has acknowledged that the lack of coverage is seriously hampering the ability of farmers in some areas to use the latest technologies and that it is a major obstacle to investment.
“QFF commend the Queensland Government for already committing around $24 million to deliver 144 new and improved mobile base stations to regional communities across 54 different councils under the Australian Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program, and call on the Queensland Government to expand its commitment in the upcoming State Budget.”
“Telecommunications are essential to all businesses and communities. State and Federal Governments must work together to prioritise and fund the infrastructure required.”