Communications and Information Technology
Creating the right environment is important for attracting innovative industries.
That is why the South West Development Commission is continually working to improve communications infrastructure and information technology in the region.
For example, it is working with Regional Development Australia - South West to get the region NBN-ready. As part of this work, the two agencies have joined forces to ensure a digital economy strategy is created for the South West.
The region is fortunate to already have in place many of the services and facilities necessary for companies to conduct international business from the region − and as a result, an increasing number of innovative companies are moving to the South West region.
Access for everyone
Community Resource Centres (formerly known as Telecentres) operate throughout the region for people living and working in rural towns and communities.
Community-owned and operated, the centres provide access to high-speed internet, two-way video conferencing, education and training, as well as government information and referral services.
A digital animation studio that creates computer generated effects for international films and television series from its base in Bunbury is just one example of a South West company successfully working on a global scale. The company was able to establish operations in Bunbury because of the presence of a world-class data centre, which had partially been funded by the Commission.
The provision of cutting edge communications infrastructure and information technology means people can carry out business with counterparts in places such as Beijing or London and Hollywood from the comfort of the enviable South West region.
ADSL Broadband internet is available in the larger urban areas and most townships throughout the South West. Outside these areas, broadband connections subsidised by the Commonwealth government are available.
Most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offer connections at similar prices to Perth. Broadband is delivered by either copper (ADSL), 3G mobile networks (wireless broadband) or satellite.
Selected urban areas and towns also have access to ADSL 2+ offering speeds up to 20Mbps. Bunbury CBD has ADSL2+ offered by multiple carriers.
Cable-based broadband services are available in some new housing estates.
Securing early rollout of the National Broadband Network in the region is high on the South West Development Commission's agenda.
Find out more about the national broadband initiative.
The South West Development Commission, along with the Bunbury Chamber of Commerce and Industries and City of Bunbury, teamed up to ensure the main business strip in Bunbury became a "WiFi hotspot".
As a result of these efforts, free wireless internet access is now available at certain locations in the CBD.
Mobile phone coverage is available through a number of carriers
including Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. Coverage is comprehensive in
urban and most rural areas although gaps still occur in less
populated parts of the region including national parks and some
major roads such as the South Western Highway north of
Nearly all of the region's population has access to land-based telephone services.
Television and radio
South West residents receive television from a range of networks including the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC TV), SBS (Special Broadcasting Service) Golden West Network (GWN), and WIN Television.
Networks are now broadcasting free to view digital transmission in some areas of the South West, providing improved picture and sound quality, and widescreen images. Digital channels include SBS and ABC TV.
Satellite Pay-TV services are available.
ABC Radio and a number of AM and FM frequency commercial and community radio services are also available throughout most of the region.