Media Release: Palm Island to benefit from $1m telecommunications boost

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Palm Island to benefit from $1m telecommunications boost
 
Palm Island residents will soon benefit from faster and more reliable mobile phone coverage thanks to federal funding through the Regional Connectivity Program.
 
Federal Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson announced just over $1 million would go towards upgrading Telstra’s existing 4GX macro base station at Palm Island North, increasing the bandwidth of the connection with the mainland.
 
“It doesn’t matter whether you live on the mainland or an island, everyone should have access to reliable communications,” Mr Thompson said.

“This project will increase capacity on the network, meaning more coverage, fewer dropouts and faster data for individuals and businesses.
 
“It’ll also mean improved access to things like telehealth, education, natural disaster warnings and other essential services which are incredibly important for the Palm Island community.”
 
Federal Regional Communications Minister Mark Coulton said the Government was listening to the needs of regional communities and businesses.
 
“I am pleased with the quality of projects being put forward which are tailored to the needs of each region and are supported by the community; a result of a collaborative approach between the telecommunications industry, businesses, regional communities and local councils.
 
“Connectivity – digital and physical – is vital for regional Australia to fulfil its full potential to do business, work and raise a family, no more so than now with the unprecedented interest in people living and working in a regional area.”
 
Telstra Regional General Manager Rachel Cliffe said the project would boost digital inclusion, leading to improved education, health and business outcomes for the Palm Island community.
 
“This upgrade is critical in future-proofing telecommunications on Palm Island, ensuring the community has access to high-speed, reliable mobile services,” Ms Cliffe said.
 
“As part of the Regional Connectivity Program, Telstra will deliver 30 transformative communications projects worth almost $55 million to improve connectivity in regional areas which need it the most.
 
“This is a great example of what can be achieved when we partner with government and local communities to deliver valuable infrastructure to regional and remote Australia.”
 
The Federal Government is contributing a total of $117.4 million (GST inclusive) to the first round of the RCP, generating total new investment of more than $232 million (GST inclusive) through co-contributions from funding recipients, state and territory governments and other third parties, such as local governments, regional businesses and community development organisations. 
 
In addition, the Government has made further funding of $105.8 million available for a second round of the program and will call for applications later this year, following consultation of program guidelines. $45.6 million of this funding commitment for the second round will be dedicated for projects in northern Australia – a vital strategic growth area.
 
The delivery of successful projects under the Program will begin shortly with most projects to be completed by June 2022.
 
More information about the RCP is available at: communications.gov.au/what-we-do/internet/regional-connectivity-program.

ENDS

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