NBN Co releases guidelines for Regional Co-Investment Fund

Local governments are being invited to apply to take part in NBN Co’s $300 million Regional Co-investment Fund.

The fund is intended to further enhance broadband services for rural and regional households, businesses, and communities to help meet the growing and diverse needs of Australians living in regional areas.

A particular focus is delivering improved broadband services to communities where those investments would otherwise be sub-commercial. 

The fund is designed to uplift digital capability in regional and remote areas and those outside capital cities that are served by NBN’s Fixed Wireless or Satellite infrastructure, by increasing the number of premises that can access technologies that support higher speeds.

The types of projects that are eligible under the fund are:  

  1. Satellite or Fixed Wireless areas to be switched to Fibre to the Premises, and 
  2. Satellite areas to be switched to Fixed Wireless.  

Other technology change options that may be considered on a case-by-case basis include scenarios where: 

  • the majority of premises included in the application are currently connected via NBN Fixed Wireless or Satellite,  
  • the upgrade does not overlap with NBN Co’s other programs or future network plans in that area, 
  • the upgrade would deliver significant community benefit; and  
  • the project is not located in any Urban Centre classified by the Australian Bureau of Statistics as “major urban”, i.e. with a population of 100,000 or more (as outlined in the guidelines). 

Several activities will not be eligible under the fund, including projects that target fewer than 50 premises or are under $500K total build cost.

Please review the guidelines to determine eligibility, and contact a local NBN representative for more information.

Contact details of local NBNrepresentative can be obtained by emailing Regional_Co-Investment_Fund@nbnco.com.au.  

The closing date for applications is 18 February 2022, with first build estimate requests required no later than 1 October 2021.