Broadband for the BUSH

BroadbandbushEarlier this month ICAN Services Manager, Bettina Addo headed to Darwin to participate in the Indigenous Focus Day preceding the fourth Broadband for the Bush Forum.  The day was run by the Indigenous Remote Communications Association (IRCA) and facilitated by Christine Ross.  The Indigenous Forum addressed four key themes of: awareness, affordability, accessibility and appropriateness.

Ms. Addo presented in the affordability section of the day, discussing phone contracts, hidden costs, subscriptions and data usage. “I also spoke about ICAN’s financial literacy program Yarnin’ Money that addresses the communications complaints we often see as financial counsellors”, said Ms. Addo. “Fellow delegates commented that there was a huge need in their regions for consumer education in this space.”

“One of the biggest learnings for me was how poor access and the high cost per gigabyte are impacting on Indigenous people trying to navigate their way in a modern learning environment in remote Western Australian and Northern Territory,” said Ms. Addo.  “Some delegates explained that they are yet still to receive mobile coverage in their communities.”

Solutions that addressed issues identified in the key theme breakout sessions were gathered to be presented at the main forum on the next day of the Braoadband for the bush forum by Christine Ross.  ICAN would like to thank the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) and the Indigenous Remote Communications Association for an opportunity to attend and contribute in this important event, and we look forward to hearing about future directions in this space.