Farmers gain from $1.5m State broadband subsidy

Sam GibbsSouth Western Times
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.
Camera IconWaroona 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. Credit: 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 agriculture production so we’re hoping to ramp it up,” he said.

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