Connecting Territory Communities
The need to belong, communicate and connect with other people is fundamental to the human spirit.
In today's world, good connections require access to critical telecommunications infrastructure and online services. The Territory's relatively small and widely dispersed population across vast and remote land masses makes this kind of connectivity complex and expensive, but also potentially life-changing.
Telecommunications have been central to the development of the Northern Territory since 1872 when the overland telegraph first linked Australia to the world.
Today, technological advances, particularly digital services, means we can reduce the tyranny of distance even further, allowing for better economic, social, health and educational outcomes.
Digital telecommunications and online services are fast becoming as essential as power for our homes and roads for transport.
Investments by the NT and Australian governments and telecommunications providers are seeing optic fibre links installed in all major regional centres and many remote communities, enabling more Territorians to access reliable mobile and broadband services.
These connections are becoming increasingly critical to the daily lives of Territorians, including in remote communities where being connected ensures people can access funds to buy food, fuel and power, keep in contact with family, and take up economic opportunities on their land.
However, there are still around 25,000 Territorians without internet or mobile access where they live (excluding satellite services) which means they have limited access to the social and economic benefits that digital technology can provide. The Australian Government is responsible for telecommunications and the NT Government continues to advocate strongly for more Federal investment in telecommunications infrastructure and services so all Territorians enjoy the same standard as other Australians.
Equitable access to digital technology and telecommunications will unlock new economic and job opportunities in regional and remote areas of the Territory, foster social and cultural connections and access to services, create opportunities to engage and collaborate with government and overcome our great distances and isolation.
We will achieve this by...
Providing more equitable access to digital technology, enabling a more digitally inclusive community.
Advocating to the Australian Government for improved connectivity so all Territorians receive the same telecommunications services as other Australians.
Increasing digital knowledge and capability to create vibrant, digitally savvy Territory communities.
Encouraging remote residents and businesses to take advantage of digital technology opportunities through leveraging investment with service providers.
Enabling Territorians to protect themselves from cyber threats and online bullying by being cyber smart and confident online.
Key Focus Areas
Improve communication services
Work with telecommunications providers and the Australian Government to improve communications infrastructure to remote communities and locations across the Territory.
Increase Territorians' access to digital services so everyone can be engaged and included in digital opportunities.
Improve digital services
Investigate tailored digital communications and services that meet divergent community needs across bush and urban communities and recognising Aboriginal culture.
Link communities with the ICT industry and digital entrepreneurs so they can develop new solutions to long-standing community problems.
What you said:
The unique and complex challenges of providing appropriate access, connectivity, communication systems and skills in Central Australia provide a significant opportunity for disruption and innovation.Knowledge Australia with Indigenous Remote Communications Australia
Stable and high speed internet and 5G services are as important as running water and electricity, doing business in the 21st century is all about data, downloads, uploads.Mizzi Blake
A common theme across the NT's hospitality industry and our members located outside of Darwin and Alice Springs are these businesses not having constant access to reliable internet. Slow or unreliable internet affects businesses' ability to operate in a productive manner.Australian Hotels Association NT
Connecting our communities
With over one million visits each year, the Territory's public libraries are among its most valued social institutions.
Remote mobile phone hotspots connect the Territory to the world
The Centre for Appropriate Technology (CfAT) in Alice Springs has created a simple mobile phone hotspot that extends mobile phone signal for up to 100 kilometres, helping people in very remote locations make calls.
Ingenious iVet – The virtual veterinary clinic
Ingenious iVet – the virtual veterinary clinic. iVet was started by local vet Dr Sue Samuelsson to help her Arnhem Land clients.