Telecommunications enhancement project

THE WA Government is looking for telecommunications providers to upgrade rural communications in return for gaining government business.

Commerce and Trade Minister Hendy Cowan said tenders were being called for participants in the State-wide Telecommunications Enhancement Project.

The government will commit up to $8 million towards the cost of infrastructure needed for existing services such as education and training or planned new services such as telehealth, video-conferencing and a variety of online information services.

Mr Cowan said 27 telecommunications provider had expressed interest in December when the program was advertised by the Office of Information and Communications.

Most of WA’s large government agencies had outlined the ways in which their services in rural areas could be developed or improved.

“Our telecommunications infrastructure is currently uneven and there are many areas where agencies report unmet needs,” he said.

Mr Cowan said it was hoped to involve more than one telecommunications provider in the STEP so it could benefit from competition later.

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