The Territory Labor Government, in collaboration with Telstra, is continuing to roll out mobile and broadband services in the bush.
Under the latest round of the ongoing NTG-Telstra Remote Telecommunications Co-Investment Program, $28 million has been set aside to get more remote Territory communities connected, with funding to roll out over the four years to 2022.
The first communities to be connected will be Wutunugurra (Epenarra) and Canteen Creek who will receive mobile phone and fixed broadband services in 2020. Avon Downs and Top Springs are expected to have small cell mobile phone services available during 2020. Telstra is continuing to assess other priority sites across the Territory including remote communities, tourist locations and transport corridors.
The co-investment program partnerships between the Territory Government and Telstra have so far delivered new telecommunications infrastructure and services in 37 remote Territory communities.
The latest community switched on to mobile phone services is Atitjere which was connected this month.
Works at Bulla have been prioritised under the program and will see the community connected in 2020.
Alpurrurulam and Belyuen are currently in progress with an estimated completion of late 2019.
Since 2007, the NT Government has jointly funded remote telecommunications infrastructure programs with Telstra to a value of nearly $40 million.
Attachment: List of communities successfully connected through the current 2015-2018 round.
As noted by Minister for Corporate and Information Services, Lauren Moss:
Territorians, no matter where they live, deserve to have the same access to reliable and effective telecommunications services as other Australians.
Modern digital connections are critical in our remote areas for health and education, economic development and for staying connected with family and friends.
Telecommunications infrastructure underpins all other digital initiatives.
Access to mobile communications infrastructure investment is opening up economic and social opportunities for residents and businesses in remote Territory communities.
As noted by Member for Barky, Gerry Mc Carthy:
This is great news for the Wutunugurra, Canteen Creek, Avon Downs and Top Springs communities.
In the Territory, where so many families live in regional and remote areas, digital access is critical to opening up new economic development and job opportunities on country, as well as connecting communities to better health and education services.