Helping Seniors Make Ends Meet - Broadband for Seniors 

Key elements

The Australian Government has committed $15 million to establish free internet kiosks in approximately 2,000 community organisations and locations such as senior citizens centres and neighbourhood houses.

Through the Helping Seniors Make Ends Meet – Broadband for Seniors measure, the Government will provide up to $10,000 per organisation for the provision of desktop computers, a three year broadband internet connection and regular internet workshops.

Older Australians who attend an internet kiosk on a regular basis have the capacity to gain confidence and build skills in using new technology. This will also build social inclusion amongst older Australians by enabling them to learn how to access educational programs and stay in contact with family and friends.
 

Background

Helping Seniors Make Ends Meet - Broadband for Seniors is part of the 'Helping Seniors Make Ends Meet' package of measures being implemented from 2007 election commitments. Making Ends Meet commitments include:

  • Helping Seniors Make Ends Meet – Broadband for Seniors
  • Helping Seniors Make Ends Meet – Seniors Concession Allowance (paid in quarterly instalments, first paid in March with another payment due in June)
  • Helping Seniors Make Ends Meet – Utilities Allowance – increase and extend eligibility (paid in quarterly instalments, first paid in March with another payment due in June)
  • Helping Seniors Make Ends Meet – Telephone Allowance – assistance with home internet connections (first paid in March with another payment due in June)
  • National Reciprocal Transport Concessions.

The entire program will provide assistance to around three million eligible Australians, including pensioners and self-funded retirees.

Helping Seniors Make Ends Meet – Broadband for Seniors has been created to increase internet usage among older Australians, to help them use the internet to stay in touch with family and friends and to access information and services.

Only one in five Australians over the age of 65 years currently use the internet.
 

Implementation

The Helping Seniors Make Ends Meet – Broadband for Seniors measure will start in the 2008-09 financial year.
 

Total Government Funding

$15 million over three years.

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