Farm­ers gain from $1.5m State broad­band sub­sidy

South Western Times - - News - Sam Gibbs

Farm­ers in the re­gion are set to ben­e­fit from com­pet­i­tive NBN ac­cess af­ter Agri­cul­ture and Food Min­is­ter Alan­nah MacTier­nan an­nounced $1.5 mil­lion in fund­ing to ex­tend broad­band ac­cess.

Ms MacTier­nan said more than 100 farms in the South West and Peel re­gions not cov­ered by the NBN would have ac­cess once in­fra­struc­ture was in­stalled.

“A fast, re­li­able broad­band ser­vice is es­sen­tial for mod­ern farm busi­nesses to op­er­ate in an in­creas­ingly so­phis­ti­cated, com­pet­i­tive global en­vi­ron­ment,” she said.

“There is no op­tion at the mo­ment for th­ese farm­ers to get an en­ter­prise-grade broad­band ser­vice.”

Bun­bury-based ser­vice provider CipherTel will re­ceive the fund­ing to cover res­i­dents and busi­nesses across a to­tal of 3000sq m.

CipherTel chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Matthew Fron­tino said a full roll-out of the ser­vice would be de­liv­ered within 12 to 18 months.

This lat­est round of fund­ing un­der the Dig­i­tal Farm Grants pro­gram will cover farms near Myalup, Wagerup, Wil­liams, Bod­ding­ton, Capel and Bus­sel­ton.

Har­vey shire pres­i­dent Ta­nia Jack­son said the move would ben­e­fit farm­ers who had not had ac­cess to this level of in­ter­net qual­ity.

“It’s hard to be­lieve we still have those gaps but ob­vi­ously we needed some­thing,” Cr Jack­son said.

Wa­roona shire pres­i­dent Mike Walm­s­ley said any in­vest­ment in agri­cul­tural ar­eas was greatly ap­pre­ci­ated in a world of rapidly grow­ing tech­nol­ogy

“This area here has maybe gone a lit­tle bit down­hill in ag prod so we’re hop­ing to ramp it up,” he said.

Wa­roona shire pres­i­dent Mike Walm­s­ley, Mur­ray-Welling­ton MLA Robyn Clarke, Agri­cul­ture and Food Min­is­ter Alan­nah MacTier­nan, Har­vey shire pres­i­dent Ta­nia Jack­son and CipherTel chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Matthew Fron­tino are pleased to bring com­pet­i­tive broad­band to farm­ers.

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