Hon Judi Moylan

Australian Government announces $3.1 billion for telecommunications

The Australian Government today announced $3.1 billion in funding to implement first-class telecommunications to regional Australians, as part of its plan to sell the remainder of Telstra next year. Connect Australia, a comprehensive communications package will provide those in rural Australia with access to quality telecommunications services. Over the next four years, through Connect Australia, $1.1 billion will be provided to implement Broadband, to improve mobile services and for Indigenous telecommunications. A break-down of the $1.1 billion funding includes – * $878 million for Broadband Connect to provide all Australians with affordable Broadband services; * $113 million for Clever Networks to roll-out innovative Broadband networks for new applications to improve the delivery of health, education and other essential services; * $30 million for Mobile Connect to extend terrestrial mobile coverage and continue satellite handset subsidies for more remote areas; and * $90 million for Backing Indigenous Ability to deliver a comprehensive package addressing phones, Internet and video conferencing in remote Indigenous communities and improved Indigenous radio and television. A further $2 billion Communications Fund has been dedicated to provide new technologies in regional areas. This package aims to safeguard those in regional areas for the future. It was announced today that the Telstra privatisation would go ahead and it is expected the telco will be sold next year.

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