Fed Gov to fund Indigenous telcomms

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Fed Gov to fund Indigenous telcomms

The Federal Government is seeking input from the telco industry and Indigenous communities on a new proposal to improve indigenous communications.

The Federal Government is seeking input from the telco industry and Indigenous communities on a new proposal to improve indigenous communications.

ICT Minister Senator Helen Coonan, released the discussion paper today as part of the Federal Government’s Backing Indigenous Ability program.

The paper seeks comment on issues such as access, affordability, awareness, appropriateness and sustainability in providing a range of telecommunications services to Indigenous communities.

In a statement, Coonan said telecommunication technology was playing a growing role in the way the Government delivered services to Indigenous communities.

The $36.6 million in funding Backing Indigenous Ability program provided would help Indigenous communities access phones, internet and videoconferencing in regional, rural and remote areas in order to participate in Australia’s economic, social and cultural activity, Coonan claimed.

The funding would also enable Indigenous communities to make decisions as to how they used telecommunications to communicate with each other, and interact with “mainstream” Australia, she said.

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA) CEO Priscilla Collins could not be reached for comment.

The discussion paper is available at:

www.dcita.gov.au/tel/connect_australia/backing_indigenous_ability
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