Internet access in Aboriginal communities
The internet is yet to reach Aboriginal communities. Very few own a computer and even less are connected.
Internet yet to reach Aboriginal communities
80% of all Australians access the internet regularly, but just 6% of residents in some remote Aboriginal communities even have a computer .
In 2007 only 10% of Aboriginal communities had access to the internet . In some communities, as few as 2% of residents have an internet connection. 58% had used a computer in the past but a third of those had never been online.
Access to the internet within Indigenous communities is becoming vital to ensure delivery of services, particularly in education and health, and to keep abreast of technological advancement.—Australian Bureau of Statistics report 
One issue preventing more computer access is infrastructure, with many communities having no generators for power.
Three-quarters of internet users in remote areas were under 30, unsurprisingly, since about 33% of the Aboriginal population is of that age, compared to around 20% of non-Aboriginal Australians .
Broadband technology can also help support job seekers in remote communities where mobile phone coverage is patchy at best. TAFE South Australia Regional offers small group sessions, self-paced training resources and an e-tutor for learning support .
With the National Broadband Network (NBN) these statistics hopefully improve. But remote communities are likely to be connected to the NBN via satellites due to their isolation . While these provide download speeds of up to 12 Mbps (megabits per second), faster than many ADSL2+ connections provided today, upload speeds will stay at 1 Mbps, preventing real-time video streaming of content .
In April 2008, six remote Western Australian Aboriginal communities close to the border to the Northern Territory and South Australia were connected to high-speed broadband via a fibre optic network .
Previously communities had used satellite phone connections which were very unreliable and unusable for clinics.
The broadband network allows people doing business from home instead of travelling hundreds of kilometres to Perth or Kalgoorlie. It also allows tele-conferences with special doctors or in courtrooms, allowing people to attend court appearances without leaving the community. Many Aboriginal people don’t like leaving their communities for errands and business .
Thereʼs something so strange and sadly deranged about the unreal nature of this fleeting exchange The transfer of gigabytes canʼt replace shared emotion just like a chlorine pool canʼt substitute the ocean Iʼll stick to Hotmail and sunsets by the sea so in traditional Dhurga language I say walawaani.
Poem by Jonathan Hill, Old Erowal Bay, NSW . Read more Aboriginal poetry.
Last updated: 7 November 2012 | Out of respect for Aboriginal culture I use Indigenous sources as much as possible.
 Population distribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2006 ABS Cat. No. 4705.0
 'Anangu going online', Koori Mail 522 p.55
 'Farewell Facebook', Koori Mail 460 p.23
 'Ngaanyatjarra go high tech', Koori Mail 425 p.30
 'Report details housing crisis', Koori Mail 399 p.13