Northern Territory Government Newsroom

Investing in the Bush: Connecting Remote Territorians

Territorians in remote areas could benefit from new Wi-Fi technology trialled at the NT Government’s Douglas Daly Research Farm 200km south-west of Darwin.

Minister for Primary Industry and Resources, Ken Vowles, said the results of the research could be a game-changer for people on outback stations.

“We believe people in remote regions deserve good services,” he said. “We have many remote areas where telecommunications are difficult or non-existent.

“The Territory Labor Government recognises improved Wi-Fi coverage could transform life in these regions, and has been working with long-distance telecommunications company Agrinet to do something about it.”

This innovative collaboration between the Department of Primary Industry and Resources and Agrinet saw widespread Wi-Fi coverage achieved across the 3100ha Douglas Daly Research Farm.

“Widespread Wi-Fi coverage can mean better cattle management, increased worker safety, improved mental health for residents, and the ability to keep pace with rapidly changing technology,” Mr Vowles said.

The technology, designed by Agrinet, is not reliant on one provider and is suitable for farms with any type of internet connection.

“This technology is designed to be installed and maintained by farmers, removing the expense of telecommunications experts having to travel for hours out bush,” Mr Vowles said.

“Once installed, it will allow anyone with a smartphone or tablet to connect.”

The first tower installed at the research farm saw signal reach 2km through thick bush. Once the technology was installed on a water tower, the range increased to 10km.

The next step of the trial will see the technology installed at Victoria River Research Station, which is 10 times the size of Douglas Daly Research Farm.

“Improved Wi-Fi could fundamentally change how Territorians in remote areas communicate and do business,” Mr Vowles said.

“We will continue working with industry to see results for people in our remote areas.”

Media Contact: Paige Nguyen 0428 727 244