The Australian government announced $15.2 million in funding to spur NBN adoption in communities around the country. The money will be spread among 36 communities to set up NBN training services under the Gillard Government’s digital hubs and digital enterprises program.
The successful applicants will operate 24 digital hubs and 20 digital enterprise programs, said the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy. The hubs aim to enhance digital literacy and explain the benefits of the National Broadband Network (NBN) to people in local communities, while the digital enterprise programs will work with small businesses and non-profits “to develop their online presence and take full advantage of the NBN,” the department said.
“Residents and businesses in these communities will learn about the opportunities and benefits of fast, affordable and reliable broadband, as well as get training and advice about how they can use the NBN,” said Senator Stephen Conroy, minister for the broadband department. “Programs like these are important so that everyone can learn and gain confidence in the online opportunities made possible by the NBN.”
In all, the government has committed $23.6 million to the digital hubs and digital enterprises program to fund training services in 40 of the first communities to receive the NBN. “There are several communities where the grant funding process is continuing and announcements regarding these communities will be made due course,” the department said.
The government has stepped up NBN education efforts after public criticisms about an information gap.
A complete list of funding recipients is available on the department’s website.