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26 May 2023
The Australian Government is providing $7.35 million to the Norfolk Island Regional Council (NIRC) for significant upgrades to Norfolk Island’s telecommunications network over the next two years.
The improvements to Norfolk Telecom, which provides telecommunications services to the Norfolk Island community, are expected to increase capacity of the satellite network to four times its current speed.
Faster and more reliable connectivity will improve the liveability of Norfolk Island, and enhance the delivery of education and healthcare on island by the Queensland Government.
The additional capability will support the Queensland Government’s operation of Norfolk Island Central School (NICS) and health care delivery by Norfolk Island Health and Residential Aged Care Service (NIHRACS).
During school hours, dedicated NICS bandwidth will support online study. After school hours, the NICS bandwidth will be available for general community use.
Separate dedicated bandwidth for NIHRACS will support telehealth appointments and faster communication with mainland medical support services.
The Government and NIRC will keep the community updated as the project progresses, with upgrades expected to commence over coming months.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories, and Federal Member for Eden-Monaro, the Hon Kristy McBain MP:
“There are a number of challenges to Norfolk Island’s telecommunications due to its remote location and current network capacity, which is why our $7.35 million investment in improved telecommunications infrastructure will make such a positive difference.
“Faster and more reliable telecommunications will support accessing online study, telehealth services, and flexible work arrangements – while improving the efficiency of business, and helping locals and tourists keep in touch with family and friends.”
Quotes attributable to Federal Member for Bean, David Smith MP:
“The Norfolk Island community has been seeking upgrades to their telecommunications to ensure that they can access a range of important digital services and keep connected with family and friends.
“This $7.35 million investment in better connectivity is a real positive, particularly for education and health services on the island – but we know so much more needs to be done, which is why we will continue to work constructively with residents.”
Quotes attributable to Norfolk Island Regional Council Administrator, Michael Colreavy:
“By providing these upgrades centrally through Norfolk Telecom, we will be increasing the speed and stability of the entire telecommunications network, allowing the community access to all the economic, lifestyle and other opportunities that higher internet speeds at home can provide.
“Following a competitive tender process, Telstra has been engaged to deliver these important upgrades of the island’s satellite backhaul connection and network, which will benefit the entire community.”