|Residents across the state are being encouraged to have their say on mobile blackspots and broadband issues through a survey announced recently.
The State Government opened consultation as part of their $550 million ‘Connecting Victoria’ program at the end of June, with consultation open through to 20th September 2021.
The program will focus on improving access to ‘business-grade’ broadband and upgrading mobile coverage, improving 4G mobile coverage, and improving access to safety information during bushfires and other emergencies.
Rural Councils Victoria Chair Cr Mary-Ann Brown is encouraging rural Victorians to participate.
“It is vital that Rural Victorians have their say. Good mobile and broadband coverage is vital for individuals, families, businesses and the work of emergency services across rural Victoria,” she said.
“Without input from individual rural Victorians and rural communities there is a strong possibility that some of the communities worst affected won’t get the services they urgently need.”
Cr Brown noted the many aspects of our day-to-day lives that rely on digital connectivity, as has been reinforced over the last eighteen months with working and learning from home having been necessitated.
“Quality mobile phone connectivity, in particular, isn’t just about convenience – it’s essential for small businesses, emergency services and visitor economies to thrive,” Cr Brown said.
The first locations to receive upgrades or new infrastructure are expected to be announced later this year, with more to follow across the state, according to the State Government.
The Engage Victoria ‘Connecting Victoria’ survey can be accessed at engage.vic.gov.au/connecting-victoria.