Territorians living in Mt Liebig, Kintore and Yarralin are now connected to mobile phone and broadband services, thanks to the NT Government/Telstra Remote Telecommunications Co-Investment Program.
This brings to 14 the number of remote Territory communities connected to mobile and/or broadband services, since the start of the Co-investment Program in 2015.
Services at Mt Liebig have been connected through a joint venture between the NTG/Telstra Co-investment Program and the Australian Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program (MBSP).
Under the Co-investment Program, a connection was provided via optic fibre cable from Papunya to Mt Liebig to allow for fixed broadband service, as well as enabling mobile phone services to be installed there under the MBSP. This infrastructure also allowed the community of Kintore, approximately 200 kilometres further west, to receive mobile phone and fixed broadband services.
The next communities scheduled to receive services under the Co-investment Program are Atitjere, Alpurrurulam and Belyuen which are expected to be completed by mid-2019.
Budget 2018 included a further $14 million investment into the next round of Co-Investment Program, to be matched by Telstra. This will allow connections to a number of other remote Territory communities, as well as transport corridors and tourism hotspots.
Modern telecommunications infrastructure is fundamental to overcoming disadvantage in remote Aboriginal communities as well as delivering significant economic and social benefits to residents.
As noted by Minister for Corporate and Information Services, Lauren Moss
Every Territorian, no matter where they live, deserves to have access to high quality phone and internet services.
In the Territory, where so many families live in regional and remote areas, digital access ensures our children are receiving comparable education services with those in urban areas and achieving the digital literacy levels needed for future jobs.
It is critical to opening up new economic development and job opportunities on country, as well as connecting communities to better health and education services.
As noted by Member for Stuart, Scott McConnell
This is great news for the Mt Liebig, Kintore and Yarralin communities.
It is vital that we use all available infrastructure to get more remote Territorians connected and to help support economic development and better health and education outcomes, as well as to improve the liveability of remote communities.
As noted by Telstra Regional General Manager NT, Nic Danks
This project is a great example of collaboration between two levels of government and Telstra bringing benefits to regional NT.
Telstra knows the important role mobile technology and the internet plays in helping people stay in contact with friends and family. The recent arrival of these services are a significant moment for this community.