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Outback towns receive free wireless internet

Free wifi at Devil's Marbles
Free wifi at Devil's Marbles

Dozens of remote communities in the Australian Outback now have free internet access.

Free Wi-Fi usage has increased by nearly 2000 per cent in in 46 remote communities thanks to a government-funded community internet service initiative.

The Northern Territory Government has expanded its existing Wi-Fi network by 35 per cent to 46 sites and also upgraded existing sites that are already connected to the National Broadband Network.

Library and Archives NT delivered the project back in May as part of the NT 2018-19 Digital Territory Action Plan.

Community internet services were used 485,440 times in the 2018-19 period compared to just 23,326 times in 2016-17. Remote communities that do not have a library where people can access free internet helped fuel the dramatic increase.

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Overcoming ‘isolation’

“While most Australians take internet access for granted, in remote areas in particular issues of connectivity and affordability remain critical,” NT Minister for Corporate and Information Services Lauren Moss said in a public statement.

“The uptake in free Wi-Fi usage in remote communities shows just how important access to digital technology is for Territorians and to help overcome our great distances and isolation.”

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