Title Central West invited to take advantage of broadband opportunities.
Database Press Releases
Date 03-08-2004
Source MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND THE ARTS
Author COONAN, Helen
Citation Id XFCD6
Cover date Tuesday, 3 August 2004
Format Online Text
In Government no
Item Online Text: 1115596
Key item No
Major subject Rural areas
Broadband
New South Wales
MP yes
Pages 2p.
Party LPA
Speech No
System Id media/pressrel/XFCD6


Central West invited to take advantage of broadband opportunities.

Central West invited to take advantage of broadband opportunities

121/04 3 August 2004

A series of 26 regional broadband briefings kicks off in Orange today to give people living in rural, regional and remote areas of Australia the chance to find out more about broadband and Government assistance available in their local area, Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Helen Coonan, said today.

Central West businesses, community members and government organisations will have the opportunity to hear about Australian Government initiatives introduced to improve broadband access and affordability in regional Australia after feedback from the Regional Telecommunications Inquiry.

"The regional briefing series will let local communities know about opportunities for accessing more affordable broadband services and feedback given in the briefings will help shape future Government broadband initiatives," Senator Coonan said.

Presentations at each briefing will focus on initiatives under the National Broadband Strategy including the Higher Bandwidth Incentive Scheme (HiBIS), Demand Aggregation Brokers and the Coordinated Communications Infrastructure Fund.

"Under the National Broadband Strategy the Australian Government has set aside $142.8 million to improve broadband services in regional, rural and remote Australia," Senator Coonan said.

"Already nearly 20 organisations around the country, including the Dubbo City Development Corporation in the Central West, have been successful in accessing funding under these programs."

The $107.8 million HiBIS program was set up to improve access to broadband services and make broadband more affordable for Australians living outside metropolitan areas.

HiBIS provides a one-off payment to service providers for each eligible customer they supply with higher bandwidth services. This helps providers supply services at a price comparable with those offered in larger cities.

"By visiting Orange and other towns, we hope to give local communities an opportunity to not only hear about these initiatives, but to ask questions and receive immediate answers," Senator Coonan said.

"Our main focus for the briefings is to ensure people walk away with a thorough understanding of these programs and how they work to provide support to regional communities."

For further information on the National Broadband Strategy and other departmental initiatives visit www.dcita.gov.au or www.telinfo.com.au.

Media Contact: Jane McMillan 0438 690 305