Funding for 5G trials and testbeds are on offer for Australia’s private sector under the Federal Government’s new JobMaker Digital Business Plan.
The plan, announced on Monday, aims to provide training, develop systems and establish needed infrastructure to support a greater adoption of new technologies for businesses and consumers.
By doing so, the Federal Government believes business costs will fall, consumer choice will be enhanced, and businesses will have greater flexibility interacting with customers and shareholders.
It will invest almost $800 million in new initiatives, including $22.1 million in grant funding to support the private sector to invest in 5G trials and testbeds.
A further $7.1 million will be invested in accelerating 5G while telecommunications companies will be allowed to pay by instalments for the next spectrum auction, freeing up capital for investment.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said this year’s budget would support businesses to recover from the pandemic.
“The plan supports Australia’s economic recovery by removing outdated regulatory barriers, boosting the capability of small businesses and backs the uptake of technology across the economy,” he said.
“Our plan continues the rollout of open banking reforms, helps build our financial technology sectors and supports industries with 5G.
“We know trust and security are essential to businesses and individuals operating online, which is why our plan is underpinned by the $1.67 billion investment under our 2020 Cyber Security Strategy.”
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the investment in the digital economy was part of the Government’s COVID-19 recovery plan to keep businesses afloat and Australians in jobs.
He said the package was estimated to increase Australia’s GDP by $6.4 billion a year by 2024.
“The shift online has enabled many businesses to transform and sustain their operations during COVID-19,” Mr Frydenberg said.
“Australian industries and businesses are well placed to make the most of the opportunities offered by digital technologies but we need to take further steps to support small businesses adopt the digital capabilities to survive, thrive and grow.”