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NFF welcomes Government commitment to broadband for all

8 February 2012

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has welcomed the announcement by the Prime Minister that two satellites will be built to deliver high speed broadband to regional and remote Australia.

NFF President Jock Laurie said that this is a very positive move and demonstrates that the Government is listening to NFF’s concerns about regional communities being left by the wayside when it comes to telecommunications.

“In our submission to the Regional Telecommunications Review in December, we called for the Government to ensure that all rural and regional Australians have equal access to reliable and affordable telecommunications," Mr Laurie said.

“We believe it’s essential that farming families, rural businesses and country communities have equal accessibility, reliability, quality and affordability in the broadband services they access as those in urban areas do.

“In our submission, we asked for the Government to commit to the delivery of improved technology to access broadband for people who live on properties outside the cities and towns.

“Agriculture is a very technologically-savvy industry, and there is enormous opportunity for new technology – if the telecommunications infrastructure can support it. And rural businesses rely on the same access to internet services to conduct their business as those in urban areas do.

“We welcome this commitment from the Government, and their acknowledgement that those who live in rural, regional and remote area should not be disadvantaged when it comes to telecommunications.

“Unfortunately rural Australians have often had negative experiences with the reliability of existing satellite services and services provided by retailers, leaving many sceptical.

“The Government will need to work hard to convince farmers and regional communities that this will be different – and the proof will be in the pudding.

“We’re looking forward to the day when all Australians have equal access to telecommunications – and we will work with Government to ensure that the commitment made today is upheld and delivered,” Mr Laurie said.

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