Indigenous people enhance mobile coverage in remote Australia

An interesting example of a digital inclusion project made by and for indigenous people that will have benefits for a whole region. Remote areas of the Northern Territory in Australia are now getting full mobile phone coverage thanks to the mobile hotspots developed by the Centre for Appropriate Technology (CAT), a not for profit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Company based in Alice Springs. The hotspots are low cost and require very little maintenance, they simply amplify weak signals from the nearest mobile towers providing local people as well as tourists with mobile coverage previously completely absent from the area.

A total of more than 30 hotspots will be available, partly bought by the NT government and partly funded through the Aboriginals Benefit Account, offering Aboriginals significant employment opportunities.

CAT is indeed a company that employs aboriginal workforce for the development and installation of its products, offering thus indigenous people training and job opportunities while at the same time stimulating economic development in the region.

“What we try and do as much as possible is maximise the opportunities for employment with the local community. So rather than flying in contractors and tradies from the nearest town, we actually go and try and develop jobs and training for people in community,” Steve Rogers, chief executive of CAT, (The Guardian)

Additional sources: The guardian, NT News, ABC