a telecom tower in the australian desert

While a lack of infrastructure and connectivity compared to metropolitan areas has underpinned the disparity of access, the recent Regional Telecommunications Independent Review found the data drought was exacerbated by a lack of digital literacy in rural areas.

Better Internet for Rural, Regional and Remote Australia (BIRRR) understands that rural Australians don't know how to get connected to the internet, let alone how to get a plan suited to their household.

While details on the program are scant, the government said this will include provision for a "digital tech hub" aimed at increasing digital literacy. 

BIRRR, co-founder and Alpha grazier, Kristy Sparrow said the advocacy organisation had identified support for digital literacy as a key need for its membership, a role the group of volunteers had been carrying out for four years. 

"A lot of people don't have the skills to know how to get connected," she said. 

"They don't know how to pick a good provider and they don't even know that they can have a different provider.

"Digital literacy funding has been at the top of our list of advocacy issues and will enable consumers to help themselves more and solve their own issues."

Ms Sparrow said that digital literacy is a severe issue in Australia, but rural and remote areas are particularly disadvantaged, the lack of walk-in support service centres and the complexity of getting connected in the first place.

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