Australian Bush to get Additional Telecom Funding

The Department of Transport and Regional Services and the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts (DCITA) said that the funds will be distributed under the existing Networking the Nation (NTN) program.

According to a statement by the relevant ministers yesterday, the 104 projects funded in this round will augment existing communications services and will facilitate growth in areas such as employment and education, health care services and export industries for regional, rural and remote Australia.

The current expenditures form a part of the A$171 million allocated as "Social Bonus" funding realized through the sale of the second tranche of Telstra.

According to DCITA spokesman Sasha Grebe, "Projects were approved by the NTN board, an independent body which works at arm's length from the government. They determine the value of the proposals, which range from building of a single mobile phone tower to the establishment in rural NSW of 55 Community Technology Centres." The latter effort, according to the Department, will receive A$8.25 million.

Among the fund allocations is a A$20.3 million package to deliver affordable online access to communities in rural and regional Australia through the Farmwide Regional Access Network Internet Access for All project.

Tasmanian e-commerce will get a A$6.6 million boost via further funding for the Tasmanian Electronic Commerce Center.

Asked whether some of the money might not be wasted if infrastructure, cost and service levels in regional areas -- the subject of often-repeated complaints from country residents -- aren't improved, Sasha Grebe responded: "It's a two-pronged approach. Included in other Telstra Social Bonus initiatives are the A$150 million for untimed local call access in 'extended zones', which cover about 80 per cent of the land mass, the BITS project, and more.

"Telstra is proceeding with the ADSL roll-out, with the first areas coming online in August. The infrastructure issue certainly is being addressed."

Applications are open for a third round of project funding which, according to Grebe, will come from the same budget, and is not dependent on further sales of Telstra.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

David Halperin

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?