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Digital connectivity boost for the Ord

December 13, 2018

Kununurra farmer Sue Smith, Ciphertel CEO Matthew Frontino, State Minister for Regional Development; Agriculture and Food Alannah MacTiernan, State member for Kimberley Josie Farrer and Shire of Wyndham and East Kimberley President David Menzel at the launch of Digital Farm program for Kununurra and the Ord.

Photo: Kununurra farmer Sue Smith, Ciphertel CEO Matthew Frontino, State Minister for Regional Development; Agriculture and Food Alannah MacTiernan, State member for Kimberley Josie Farrer and Shire of Wyndham and East Kimberley President David Menzel at the launch of Digital Farm program for Kununurra and the Ord.

Farmers in the Ord River Irrigation Area are set to join the agricultural-tech revolution, with State Minister for Regional Development; Agriculture and Food Alannah MacTiernan announcing two adjacent networks will be deployed by Bunbury telecommunications company CipherTel, to cover more than 40 farm businesses over nearly 1,700 square kilometres in the East Kimberley, as part of the Digital Farm initiative to bridge the ‘digital divide’ in regional Western Australia.

The grants, totalling $1 million in matching funding, have been allocated to extend broadband access to areas that are not adequately serviced by the National Broadband Network (NBN) fixed wireless and fixed line footprint.

The new network will provide a fast, reliable, digital service to agricultural businesses in Kununurra, the industrial area, and the southern and central parts of the Ord River farmland.

These are the final projects from the first round of Digital Farm Grants, worth a total of $5 million, providing access to affordable, scalable broadband to more than 1,240 enterprises across 41,000 square kilometres of the Kimberley, Mid-West, Wheatbelt, Peel, South-West and Great Southern regions.