The federal government has allocated $2.6 million in second-round funding to support a community broadband broker program.
Funding would support the Australian Government’s Community-based Broadband Demand Aggregation Broker Program, adding an additional 11 community brokers to the scheme. This brings the total number of community broadband brokers to 24.
The idea behind the program is for the community broadband brokers to work with people in regional areas, to help bring them a choice of broadband technologies and service providers.
Senator Helen Coonan, Minister for Communications, IT and the Arts, said each broker would work with individuals, businesses, councils and other broadband users "to aggregate demand in their region and then attract the best mix of broadband service providers for local needs”.
“There are currently 30 companies registered under the Australian Government’s Higher Bandwidth Incentive Scheme to provide ADSL, satellite and wireless broadband services in regional areas," Coonan said.
"By working with these and other companies, the community brokers can bring people in regional areas a range of broadband technologies and service providers.”
Areas benefiting from the scheme's second-round funding include: Eden and surrounds, NSW; Macedon, Mitchell and Murrindindi shires, VIC; Wide Bay Burnett region, QLD; and the Great Southern country zone, WA.