Regional connectivity is vital for businesses and homes across the Cootamundra electorate, and Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has applauded the NSW Government’s $400 million promise to make it better.

Ms Cooke said the Connect Regional NSW program will revolutionise the way we live in the regions by building data hubs to improve internet connectivity.

“We all use online connectivity and mobile data so much, regardless of whether it’s for business or leisure, and it’s vital for us all that we can access a fast and reliable service,” Ms Cooke said.

“The $400 million Connect Regional NSW program will deliver faster internet speeds, better mobile phone coverage, and a potential future of 5G connectivity.

“This investment will over the next four years significantly improve business efficiencies and reduce the frustration of either an internet slowdown or a dropped phone call.

“Wagga Wagga and Dubbo have been chosen as the initial locations to investigate and design the future digital infrastructure for regional NSW,” Ms Cooke said.

Nearly all of NSW’s global internet data traffic is transmitted through massive underwater fibre optic cables located near Sydney. Internet signals from around NSW ‘bounce’ to and from Sydney to deliver webpages, video downloads, Skype access and social media feeds, for example, to users in regional NSW.

The component of the connection, between regional NSW and Sydney is called ‘backhaul’.

As part of this investment, the NSW Government will use digital hubs with data centres across regional NSW to ease backhaul.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW, John Barilaro, said this is a turning point for connectivity in the regions.

“Our regions aren’t backwaters and this program ensures that everyone across our state gets the very best in digital connectivity,” Mr Barilaro said.

“The NSW Nationals have delivered 156 new mobile phone towers in NSW since 2015, which has allowed 6,000 more Triple Zero emergency calls to be made, and that is just the beginning.

The Connect Regional NSW program is being funded by the $4.2 billion Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund, which is dedicated to being spent on transformative infrastructure in regional NSW.

Visit http://www.nsw.gov.au/connectregionalnsw for more information.