The Territory Government is investing $14 million over four years to jointly fund improved telecommunications services in the bush through a new Remote Telecommunications Co-Investment Program.
The funding will be $2 million in 2018-19 and $4 million per annum from 2019-20 to 2021-22, and will be matched dollar for dollar by Telstra.
“Budget 2018 will create more jobs, attract more people to the Territory and invest in generational change to create a brighter future for all Territorians,” Ms Manison said.
“This announcement is a significant investment in the Territory’s remote locations.
“Every Territorian, no matter where they live, deserves to have access to high quality phone and internet services.
“This investment will enable more remote residents to connect to the world, remote businesses to grow and tourists to share their unique Territory experiences with friends and family.”
Under previous partnerships with Telstra stretching back to 2009, 37 remote Territory communities have received mobile phone and/or broadband services with eight more communities to be connected by 2019 under the existing program.
Telstra continues to be a long-standing and valued partner with the NT Government and will again match government’s financial investment.
“Telstra has demonstrated its genuine commitment to the Territory and this new co-investment program shows a strong continuation of this commitment,” Ms Manison said.
“I thank the Telstra for their commitment to maintain this partnership.”
This next $28 million co-investment program will target remote locations, including communities, transport corridors and tourist destinations.
“Digital skills are a core requirement for many jobs and are becoming essential in the modern world, from internet banking and shopping to education, socialising business. To gain digital skills people must first have digital access. Telecommunications infrastructure is the foundation,” Ms Manison said.
“For NT children to receive comparable education and achieve the digital literacy levels needed for future jobs, access to the internet is essential.
“Extending mobile services along major highways will improve safety and enable travellers to stay ‘in touch’. This will assist all road users, including locals travelling between communities, transport operators and visitors to the Territory.
“The Territory Government, in collaboration with Telstra, is investing in the bush.”
Source: NT Government