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C7EVEN represents regional, rural and remote Australia at Telstra Policy Workshop


Hear from our Director Adam Arndell, on his participation in a recent telecommunications workshop with Telstra! 

Recently I was invited to attend a Regional Telecommunications Policy Workshop hosted by Telstra’s Rural & Regional Affairs team in Sydney.

Bringing together a group of regional, rural, and remote stakeholders and leaders, the workshop was an opportunity to discuss some key themes and topics related to regional telecommunications, which also featured in the most recent Regional Telecommunications Review report released last year.

The workshop looked at three main themes:
1. the mix of technologies that underpin regional telecommunications now and into the future;
2. the policies that underpin investment and roll-out of alternate technologies; and
3. addressing connectivity literacy needs in regional Australia.

Whilst each theme provided some interesting insights and discussions there was two that resonated with me as a marketing and communications consultant in regional Australia.

Firstly, the mix of technologies that underpin regional telecommunications today and what is just over the horizon. I was amazed at the level of telecommunications technology available in regional, rural, and remote Australia today. Massive investment in Telstra mobile networks will ensure that by June 2024, the 4G network will have coverage equivalent to the 3G network today, and the continued roll-out of the 5G network to 95% of the population by the end of June 25 is being supported by considerable investment.

With 80% of current mobile network traffic consumed by video content and the growth for the internet of things (IOT) this is a welcome pathway. However, the mobile network is one part of the story. There is a range of other technologies available to help with connectivity in the bush. This includes new repeater technology, fixed wireless technology, increase use of satellite at High, Medium and Low Earth Orbit. These are technologies available today and are rapidly emerging on the horizon, but many of us do not know about them.

These improvements in technology are welcome, however importantly making sure that regional, rural, and remote Australian’s know these solutions exist, know that they are affordable, and then also to know which solutions might be right for them is another challenge. The connectivity literacy challenge is about how do we improve awareness of the options available to help people get connected, and stay connected, and overcome the digital divide.

What was shown is often what impacts our connectivity literacy in regional, rural, and remote Australia is legacy misinformation and disinformation, affordability concerns, confusion around technology terminology, lack of local support, and lack of easy-to-understand information. We all have a role to play to help our neighbours and community improve their connectivity literacy.

However, there is also other help available. The Regional Tech Hub was established in response to the 2018 Regional Telecommunications Review’s findings and is made possible through the Australian Government’s Stronger Regional Digital Connectivity funding package. Developed and run by the National Farmer’s Federation, the Regional Tech Hub is a free independent advice and support service to assist people who live in regional, rural, and remote parts of Australia to realise the benefits of being digitally connected. Even though it is run by NFF it isn’t a service just for farmers – it is there for all regional and remote Australians irrespective of what company you currently receive your internet or phone service from.


I encourage anyone wanting to learn more about the digital connectivity options available in the bush to reach out to the Regional Tech Hub.


– Adam

Darcy Kelly

C7EVEN’s Co-Director Adam Arndell and attendees at the Regional Telecommunications Policy Workshop held recently in Sydney.

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