Budget allocates funding for NBN marketing, robots

The federal budget allocates $20 million to market the National Broadband Network

The federal government has announced further funding to support the national broadband network in the 2012/13 federal budget.

The money will be used to help highlight the advantages of the NBN, primarily in regional and remote areas where the NBN will be provided by fixed wireless and satellite services. The funding will also be used to provide up-to-date information on the network.

Another $19.9 million will be used to encourage students, teachers and families to use the NBN, including $6 million in capital funding in 2011/12.

A free portal on the ABC website will be created to open up digital resources to students, which will allow them to access the ABC’s content database, including television footage, audio recordings and online content.

Communications minister Senator Stephen Conroy announced the initiative in December 2011. "Students will be able to watch, listen, read, remix, tag and recommend resources," Conroy said at the time. "They will be able to have virtual tours of educationally relevant places, events or communities and participate in interactive games, in 3D immersive environments."

Another $2.4 million has been allocated to use the NBN for remote access to national cultural institutions in a bid to display the opportunities of the network. The funding will be rolled out over two years from 2011/12.

Mobile robots will be used to take visitors on a virtual tour of museums and art galleries and users will also be able to engage with tour guides through the virtual visits.

In March the government allocated $321.6 million for Telstra as part of the definitive agreements between NBN Co and Telstra.

The agreement gives NBN Co access to Telstra’s facilities and infrastructure for at least 35 years, which will allow the NBN to be provided to 93 per cent of Australia’s households. The agreement also supports Telstra’s transition from the copper network, with the NBN to be Telstra’s preferred fixed-line network.

This funding was originally announced in the Contingency Reserve in the 2011/12 budget.

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