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Australia fast-tracks broadband for teleworkers

Senator Stephen Conroy, Australian minister for broadband, communications and the digital economy, has unveiled plans offering teleworkers access to Australia's AUD $36 billion (US $37.13 billion) national broadband network (NBN).


This new service will be part of "National Telework Week" to kick off in November 2012.

National Telework Week is spearheaded by the Australian Government, together with wide-ranging organisations, opening up access to broadband services when staff work from home, or are on the road.

Senator Conroy says this latest initiative, when fully operational, offers exciting opportunities for employers and employees. "An increase in telework can lead to benefits across the economy and community, from big business through to individual workers and families as well as the environment."

Australia currently lags behind leading nations for telework rates, Senator Conroy says. "For our next generation of employers and workers, IT connectivity will need to be seamless to allow work from any location, be it at home, in the office or at their local café."

The Australian Government plans to double Australia's teleworking rates by 2010, while offering cost-savings to employers, as well as productivity gains, increased workforce flexibility, and an expanded supply of skilled labour.

Initial partners in National Telework Week include the Australian Human Resources Institute, Australian Industry Group (AIG), Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), the Australian Network for Disability and the Local Government Managers Australia, the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council, Infrastructure Australia and the Green Building Council of Australia.

Global information technology and networking companies will also participate in the National Teleweek Program.

Australia's NBN project seeks to deliver affordable broadband to consumers, governments and businesses, while supporting federal, state and loca government agencies' foray into a "digital economy."

Key government services to benefit from this high-speed, fast-access network include health, education and energy.

Australia's broadband reforms will offer high-speed broadband capabilities to 93% of premises -- with connectivity to metropolitan regional, rural and remote areas.

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