Narrowing Digital Gap Through Community Wi-Fi

Dept of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications

The Albanese Government is working collaboratively with remote First Nations communities to co-design free community Wi-Fi, with work underway across the first 18 communities to narrow the digital gap.

Free Wi-Fi in remote communities will boost opportunities for education and training, employment, jobs and business and improving access to services and information.

Through partnership with NBN Co, the Government is developing tailored broadband solutions that meet the needs of remote First Nations communities. The services will be provided through NBN’s Sky Muster technology, with communities playing a pivotal role in the design process, including by:

  1. Identifying where the service should be located, and in which buildings;
  2. Scoping the hours of operation; and
  3. Determining controls around broadband access amongst the community.

As part of the $20 million commitment made in February, around 20 communities will receive the free services by the end of the year.

Remote communities currently working through the co-design process include:

  1. Galawin’Ku, Wandawuy and Gan Gan, in the Northern Territory
  2. Kowanyama, Pormpuraaw and Doomadgee in Queensland
  3. Loanbun, Kurangjo, Mindi Rardi, Bungtardi, Daringunaya, Burawa and Junjuwa in Western Australia.
  4. Pukatja, Kaltjiti (Fregon), Mimili, Pipalyatjara and Amata in South Australia

This is one part of the Government’s broader commitment to narrow the digital gap. The 2024-25 Federal Budget included funding to increase the number of communities set to benefit, establish a First Nations Digital Support Hub and a network of digital mentors to develop digital capability and support safe use, and improve the national collection of data on First Nations digital inclusion.

These measures deliver on recommendations from the First Nations Digital Inclusion Advisory Group that was established to provide advice to Government on achieving Target 17 of Closing the Gap – equal levels of digital inclusion for First Nations people by 2026.

Delivering bespoke, community Wi-Fi solutions respond to the Government’s First Nations Digital Inclusion Plan, which centres around three core pillars: access, affordability and ability.

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