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Wamboin Communications Action Group Inc.

Grant Round: 2020

Amount: $50,000

This project will assist regional and rural areas to effectively engage with their local communities and build a business case for the implementation of network capabilities to support their current and future needs. The project will deliver a set of resources that can be applied across regional, rural and remote areas to help communities identify local requirements to achieve better Internet connectivity to support their economic and social growth.

The Wamboin, Bywong and Sutton regional (WBSR) area in southern NSW has been selected as the pilot site for the Gig State program of work for the roll out of a fibre network to provide internet connectivity in regional and remote areas (https://www.nsw.gov.au/snowy-hydro-legacy-fund/regional-digital-connectivity-program/gig-state). The area is within the NBN SkyMuster satellite footprint with no reasonable possibility of being upgraded to either wireless or fibre by the NBN project. To get to this point the residents have created a group, the Wamboin Communications Action Group (WCAG), to represent them and attempt to achieve a better outcome for connectivity.

The WCAG group has been successful in gaining the attention of locals, local media, state and federal politicians as well as a number of commercial network providers. Working with these providers various possible solutions have been investigated and proved to be commercially viable. Using this information and the knowledge gained enabled the group to lobby the politicians to gain a $5m grant towards the cost, which has now morphed into being the pilot for the whole of NSW Gig State.

The documents presented here, with the help of an ACCAN grant, explain what the WCAG did and found useful to raise the profile of the WBSR such that the provision of robust, future proof networking is about to be implemented. The WBSR area consists of ~1300 rural residential blocks varying in size from 5 to 100 acres in wooded hills. The documentation is believed to be useful to other areas wishing to improve their communications infrastructure and who have a similar population density.

Download: docBetter Broadband How to Establish a Community Group10.62 MB
Download:  pdfBetter Broadband How to Establish a Community Group1.98 MB