Northern Territory Minister for Corporate and Information Services Lauren Moss
Remote Internet Use Taking Off
Victor P Taffa
Remote Territorians have embraced increased access to online services with a nearly 2000 % increase in free Wi-Fi usage in 46 remote communities as part of the Territory Government’s Community Internet Service initiative.
“Connecting Territory communities is a key direction in the Territory Government’s first ever Digital Territory Strategy, to ensure reliable and sustainable internet access to remote communities across the Territory.” Minister for Corporate and Information Services Lauren Moss said.
A key action in the 2018-19 Digital Territory Action Plan, and delivered by Library & Archives NT, the project has extended the existing network of 34 sites to 46 sites and provided upgrades to all sites with NBN connections.
Rollout was completed in May 2019, and in 2018-19 community internet services were used 485,440 times, up from 23,326 times in 2016-17.
Free access to the internet as an information resource is a core public library service across Australia, and the public library network provides free internet access to millions of Australians. However, many remote communities do not have a library facility, so residents miss out.
Increased connectivity has had positive knock-on benefits, with regional councils using the services to build digital skills programs.