Government to spend AUD60 million on rural telecoms

5 Mar 2009

The Australian government has revealed that it has set aside AUD60 million (USD38.4 million) for regional, rural and remote telecoms projects, itWire reports. The bulk of the funding, which forms part of an AUD400 million investment recommended by the Regional Telecommunications Review in October 2008, is expected to be spent in conjunction with local government bodies. In addition, it has been announced that the Satellite Phone Subsidy Scheme will receive a boost in funding of AUD11.4 million. The extra finance will allow the scheme to increase the subsidies offered to 85% of the handset cost, including the replacement of handsets which are at least three years old. The Indigenous Communications Program is also set to benefit, as it will receive AUD3.7 million to help improve essential telecoms services, basic public internet access facilities and training for remote indigenous communities.