Govt to spend more to stimulate NBN use

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Govt to spend more to stimulate NBN use

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has invited applications for a third round of funds under the Government's digital hubs and digital enterprise programs.

The hubs project aimed to improve community understanding of the NBN. Chosen projects are expected to demonstrate health, education, business and household applications.

A digital hub project is generally funded for between $150,000 and $350,000 over two years.

The total pot of money available for hub grants is $5 million in 2011/12 and $4.6 million in 2012/13. No specific amount has been allocated to round three, according to a ministerial spokesman.

Meanwhile, the enterprise grants target knowledge and use of the NBN by local small and medium enterprises.

Enterprises can typically receive grants of between $140,000 and $270,000 over two years.

The SME program has a total pot of $4 million available in 2011/12 and $3 million in 2012/13.

ABS figures for 2009–10 indicate that only 40 percent of businesses reported a web presence and 24.8 per cent received orders online.

Some 40 communities throughout Australia will be funded under both programs. Communities eligible for the grants are those where work on the NBN rollout has already commenced.

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