A Northern Territory Government (NTG)/Telstra Remote Telecommunications Co-Investment Program has connected those living in the remote communities of Mt Liebig, Kintore and Yarralin to mobile phone and broadband services.

There have now been 14 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 200km 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.

The 2018 Budget 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.

Northern Territory Minister for Corporate and Information Services, Lauren Moss, said, “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.”

Telstra Regional General Manager NT, Nic Danks, said, “[We] know 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.”

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