Broadband delivered for senior citizens
The federal government’s $15 million Broadband for Seniors initiative has taken off with NEC Australia launching 40 live sites. The kiosks at these 40 locations will be used to provide training and access to online resources, dramatically increasing the availability of internet services to seniors and building their confidence in using the technology. NEC will enable 100 more sites to go live by the end of September.
Jenny Macklin MP officially unveiled some of the first live kiosks at Melbourne Legacy House. She was joined by representatives from Legacy, NEC Australia and learning partners Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association, University of the Third Age Online (U3A) and Adult Learning Australia.
70% of Australians aged over 64 don’t use the internet, according to the World Internet Project 2008 report. The Broadband for Seniors initiative is essential to improve internet skills amongst Australian seniors. Under the initiative, NEC will deliver approximately 2000 internet kiosks over two and a half years.
According to Melbourne Legacy President Graeme Standish, “NEC’s internet kiosks are going to give seniors the opportunity to not only improve their internet skills, but they will provide access to a range of services and information that are vital to their wellbeing. This initiative will break down the information and confidence barriers that exist for many senior Australians.”
NEC Australia is delivering and managing the Broadband for Seniors project with the support of adult learning institutions. NEC is providing contract management, project management, staff, technology and, through its 100% owned service provider Nextep, the national network for the project. Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association and U3A are providing face-to-face training materials and online training respectively, with rollout coordination by Adult Learning Australia.
According to David Cooke, Group Manager, NEC Australia, “e-health remains high on the federal government’s agenda but, for it to be a success, it is vital that we first raise the IT literacy amongst the aged population, who will be the biggest beneficiaries. Getting these sites live is a huge step towards providing an environment for seniors to have the confidence and ability to access services such as health information.”
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