Albanese Government to better connect, inform and empower Australians

The Albanese Government is delivering on its commitments to better connect more Australian families, businesses and communities than ever before.

Investment to deliver a better NBN

The Boost Fibre and Fast Track the NBN Repair Job provides NBN Co with a $2.4 billion equity injection over 4 years to expand fibre and enable access to speeds of up to 1 Gigabit per second to nearly 10 million homes and businesses by late 2025.

This investment will expand full-fibre access to a further 1.5 million premises including over 660,000 premises in regional Australia.

As a targeted affordability initiative, up to 30,000 families with no internet at home will be provided a free NBN service for 12 months so their children can receive the education they need and deserve.

Support for Rural, Regional, Remote and First Nations communities

The Albanese Government is committed to increasing connectivity, bridging the digital divide, improving mobile coverage and supporting communities during natural disasters. The Better Connectivity Plan for Regional and Rural Australia will see more than $1.1 billion delivered to rural and regional communities, including:

  • $400 million to expand regional mobile coverage and improve the resilience of communications systems;
  • $200 million for two further rounds of the Regional Connectivity Program, to improve connectivity in regional, rural and First Nations communities;
  • $30 million over three years to accelerate Australia’s agricultural sector through the On Farm Connectivity Program, to extend connectivity for farmers and their machinery, and grow Australia’s agribusiness;
  • $20 million for an independent national audit of mobile coverage to establish an evidence baseline to guide and better target future priorities; and
  • a further $6 million over three years to extend the Regional Tech Hub to support better consumer awareness, connectivity literacy and trouble-shooting.

This also includes the $480 million already delivered to upgrade the NBN Fixed Wireless network. This will upgrade 120,000 satellite premises to Fixed Wireless, and boost the Fixed Wireless network with speeds up to 100 Mbps for the entire footprint, and up to 250 Mbps for 85% of Fixed Wireless premises. This also delivers important benefits to NBN satellite services by relieving satellite capacity.

The Albanese Government will also deliver $39.1 million to expand the Peri-Urban Mobile Program (PUMP), helping communities on the peri-urban fringe stay connected and access vital information during natural disasters and emergencies. Complementing the Better Connectivity Plan for Regional and Rural Australia, new areas will now be eligible, including growing regional communities around Geelong, Wollongong, NSW Central Coast, Newcastle, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Townsville, Cairns, Darwin, Toowoomba, Ballarat, Bendigo and Canberra.

The Albanese Government will deliver a dedicated round of the Mobile Black Spot Program, the Improving Mobile Coverage Round (IMCR), with 54 targeted locations where industry has not been able to deliver the investments that Australia needs.

The First Nations Communications and Digital Inclusion measure will invest $2.5 million over 5 years to establish a First Nations digital advisory group, providing collaborative advice in genuine partnership with First Nations representatives to the Minister for Communications.

Better funded national broadcasters

The Albanese Government will deliver 5-year funding terms for Australia’s national broadcasters commencing 1 July 2023.

Moving the ABC and SBS beyond 3-year funding terms will better safeguard the independence of the national broadcasters, as well as support long-term strategic planning and innovation in high-quality content provision and service delivery, across Australia.

The Government will also return indexation to the ABC, providing $83.7 million to the ABC to reinstate funding cut by the previous Government from 2019-22.

The Albanese Government will fund a feasibility study into the expansion of Double J on radio, which will consider options to help great Aussie artists on Double J reach more ears, particularly in regional areas.

Supporting local news, community broadcasting and jobs

The Government is delivering on its commitment to support local news, community broadcasting and jobs. This includes:

  • 208 newspaper publishers across the country received a lifeline with the $15 million Regional and Local Newspaper Publishers Program (RLNP);
  • Australia’s community broadcasting sector will receive an additional $4 million per year of ongoing funding for the Community Broadcasting Program from 2023-24. This takes annual funding for the program to over $20 million per year; and
  • The Government has also committed $4 million towards the development of the News Media Assistance Program (News MAP) to inform longer term news media policy interventions.

Modernising Spectrum Management

The Albanese Government is supporting the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to deliver two new systems that will enable it to continue to manage spectrum efficiently. This $27.7 million investment over 5 years will support the delivery of:

  • A new spectrum management system, to manage more than 160,000 licences held across Australia; and
  • An ongoing auction capability, to auction high-value spectrum licences and secure the best outcomes for the Australian economy.

Keeping Australian children safe from harm

The Albanese Government will invest $6 million to make online learning tools freely available to schools and keep children safe online.

A suite of eLearning tools will be delivered by the Alannah and Madeline Foundation including eSmart Digital Licences for primary and high school students and an eSmart Media Literacy Lab for secondary school students aged 12 to 16 to help support the development of critical thinking skills and online civic engagement.

For more information on the Federal Budget visit | Budget 2022-23