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Bringing broadband to Gold Coast blackspots.



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Bringing broadband to Gold Coast blackspots MEDIA RELEASE 17 November 2005

The connection of ADSL or wireless broadband to Gold Coast households is being made a priority by the Howard Government.

Federal MP Steven Ciobo was joined by Communications Minister, Senator Helen Coonan at the national announcement at Chevron Island this afternoon.

“The Gold Coast is being recognised as Australia’s Innovation City and I’m delighted this $50 million national programme was launched here,” Mr Ciobo said.

“Unfortunately, due to technology constraints or other factors, some households are unable to access broadband.

“This new programme provides direct financial incentives to get these households online, and online with broadband.

“The programme will speed up broadband connections to black spot households by turning metro areas like the Gold Coast into priority areas for telecommunications companies.

“Metro Broadband Connect will mirror other government programmes where the government pays a subsidy to any provider that connects a metropolitan black area to broadband,” he said.

Around 200,000 Australian households are expected to benefit from the programme which is due to commence 1 January 2006.

“We are already seeing black spot areas on the Gold Coast disappear, mainly due to the constant technology upgrades and the rapid expansion of broadband coverage,” Mr Ciobo said.

“However, Metro Broadband Connect will fast track even more connections for local residents through a subsided scheme which will also generate local business.”

Guidelines for the operation of the programme are available online at www.dcita.gov.au/tel/mbc

Stakeholders can also comment on the programme. Feedback is due COB 15 December 2005.