Telstra, Superloop, Pivotel and LogicIT will share $2.3 million in state government funding to deploy broadband services in rural Western Australia to support digital farming projects.
The government said that the funds would ensure that “over 1100 farms in areas including the North Midlands and Great Southern, as well as in the districts of Chapman Valley, Mount Barker, Wickepin and Goodlands” had access to internet services to power their digital initiatives.
The farms would otherwise only have access to NBN satellite services, which may not be able to service smart farming technologies they want to take advantage of.
The government said it wanted to “enable agricultural businesses to use smart farming technologies such as cloud based data sharing and decision making resources, improving productivity and output.”
It also wanted to “enable farming businesses to gain access to productivity enhancing technology which is a key element in making businesses internationally competitive”.
Superloop CEO Drew Kelton said his company “has a pedigree of taking digital connectivity to regional and rural Australia, via both fixed fibre and fixed wireless solutions.”
“Our association with the state government of WA will only accelerate that,” he said.
“The state’s farmers can expect to see a dramatic improvement in their service options once our infrastructure comes online.”
There is still some government funding available for other projects, with $5 million in total allocated to the scheme.