Senate debates

Monday, 20 June 2011

Questions on Notice

Internet (Question No. 442)

Photo of Scott LudlamScott Ludlam (WA, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

asked the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, upon notice, on 16 March 2011:

With reference to public Internet access in Pukatja (also known as Ernabella), the largest Aboriginal community in South Australia:

(1) When does the department expect public Internet access will become available in Pukatja.

(2) What proportion of people living on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands in South Australia currently have free public Internet access.

Photo of Stephen ConroyStephen Conroy (Victoria, Australian Labor Party, Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate) Share this | | Hansard source

The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1) The Australian Government funds the delivery of public internet access to remote Indigenous communities through the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Public Internet Access (the NPA).

The NPA has been established between the Australian Government and a number of participating state and territory governments, including South Australia, to work collaboratively to improve internet access in remote Indigenous communities. Under the NPA, it is the responsibility of participating state and territory governments to nominate eligible Indigenous communities to receive public internet access facilities. The South Australian Government has not nominated Pukatja under this program.

In addition to the NPA, the department also delivers a number of other programs to improve essential telecommunications services and digital productivity outcomes in remote Indigenous communities.

The National Broadband Network (NBN) will provide high-speed broadband to all Australian premises. Indicative coverage maps published by NBN Co indicate that the APY Lands are likely to be served by next-generation satellite technology, providing peak speeds of at least 12 megabits per second.

NBN Co will also offer an Interim Satellite Service from 1 July 2011 offering peak download speeds of 6 megabits per second and 1 megabit per second upload, ahead of the introduction of a long term satellite solution in 2015. Communities in the APY Lands, such as Pukatja, may eligible for the Interim Satellite Service.

(2) Public internet access facilities may be available in a range of locations such as libraries, community halls, schools and other public buildings. The department does not maintain records on the locations of points of public internet access in Australia.