Regional NSW isolated from Internet

Regional NSW isolated from Internet

Regional New South Wales is struggling to develop Internet capabilities according to a keynote speaker at last weeks CPA Country Congress 99.

John Tripler, senior project officer of the Department of Primary Industries Queensland, explained that 61 per cent of businesses in regional NSW have a computer yet only 19 per cent of those have access to the Internet.

"When it comes to telecommunications the reality is that those who are isolated geographically often remain isolated from some electronic information services because of poor infrastructure," Tripler said.

Businesses either wanting to market their services to remote areas or rural businesses wanting to increase their exposure are having to deal with a unique set of problems.

"The major problem is the difficulty of Internet access in some areas," Tripler said.

He reports 96 per cent of Telstra's customers have access to an ISDN connection, but of the 4 per cent who don't - representing 720 000 people - the majority are more likely to live in rural or remote areas.

Tripler suggests short term solutions would be to use low bandwidth and design a simple Web site with few graphics to reduce the time it takes to download information.

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