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Wednesday, 11 May 2011 15:29

Budget allocates $10.4m to maintain broadband kiosks for seniors


The Government will provide $10.4 million over four years for the ongoing maintenance of the 2,000 Broadband Kiosks for Seniors, but it is not yet clear who will receive this money.

The technology provider for the initial program was NEC, but the company was non-committal on its future role. David Cooke, NEC's head of health and aged care solutions, told ExchangeDaily: "NEC is involved in ongoing discussions with the Department [of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs] to detail the scope of the continuation."

He added: "This funding will allow the many thousands of seniors attending the 2,000 Broadband for Seniors kiosks deployed by NEC on behalf of the Department cross Australia to continue receive free Internet access and training."

The government committed $15m over the three years 2008-2011 to the program and a consortium comprising NEC Australia, Adult Learning Australia, The Australian Seniors Computers Clubs Association and University of the Third Age Online was awarded a $15m contract in November 2008 to install and operate 200 kiosks around Australia.

Rollout started in September 2009 and which time  Cooke, said NEC was providing contract management, project management, staff, technology and, through its 100 percent owned service provider Nextep, the national network for the project.

He said Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association and the University of the Third Age Australia (U3A) were providing face-to-face training materials and online training respectively, with rollout coordination by Adult Learning Australia. Rollout commenced in September 2009  and the project was completed in February this year.

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