Project to con­nect Ord

Countryman - - MACHINERY AND TECHNOLOGY -

Ag-tech de­vel­op­ments in the Ord River Ir­ri­ga­tion Area may soon get a leg up, with the State Gov­ern­ment this week set­ting out plans to de­liver “en­ter­prise-grade broad­band” across the re­gion.

The ini­tia­tive, mar­keted as a so­lu­tion to the “dig­i­tal di­vide” in the East Kim­ber­ley, will see two ad­ja­cent net­works de­ployed, re­ported to cover more than 40 farm busi­nesses over nearly 1700sqkm.

The net­works will ser­vice busi­nesses in Ku­nunurra, the in­dus­trial area and the south­ern and cen­tral parts of the Ord River farm­land.

Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Alan­nah MacTier­nan said the ini­tia­tive would help to drive agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tiv­ity and ex­pan­sion in the Ord.

She said it would also pro­vide ex­ist­ing grow­ers with a com­pet­i­tive edge in a global mar­ket.

“Mod­ern busi­nesses, no mat­ter where they are lo­cated, re­quire a high-qual­ity broad­band ser­vice to be able to op­er­ate in an in­creas­ingly com­pet­i­tive global en­vi­ron­ment,” she said.

“This pro­gram has re­sponded to a dire need for dig­i­tal con­nec­tion in the re­gions and suc­cess­fully at­tracted com­mer­cial in­vest­ment to de­liver broad­band ser­vices to busi­nesses and res­i­dents through­out our State.”

The grants, to­talling $1 mil­lion in match­ing fund­ing, are the fi­nal projects from the first round of Dig­i­tal Farm Grants, worth a to­tal of $5 mil­lion.

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