A ‘last mile’ approach to improving broadband in more remote areas

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

The fourth article in the Croakey CouncilFest series highlights how better access to broadband can improve health care delivery and reduce isolation for Australians living in remote areas. Better connectivity for people in rural and remote Australia is a policy priority for the National Rural Health Alliance. The Alliance has consistently advocated for the provision of high speed broadband to people outside of the cities, at the same price. While smart phones and tablets are an increasingly important means of internet access for people in rural and remote regions, competition for bandwidth limits the usefulness of these tools for health applications. Solutions for improved connectivity are being put forward through a ‘Last Mile’ program that would provide affordable products for community connections. The NRHA supports the range of proposals being canvased in the Last Mile program because equitable broadband access is essential for health service delivery and the current and next generation of regional and remote health professionals.