[LINK] Broadband to stimulate seniors' grey matter

Bernard Robertson-Dunn brd at iimetro.com.au
Mon Sep 7 12:36:35 AEST 2009

Broadband to stimulate seniors' grey matter
Andrew Colley
September 03, 2009
Australian IT

THE federal government has launched its $15 million senior citizens 
internet education program.

Federal Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and 
Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin today unveiled the first 42 of 2000 
internet "kiosks" which will be placed in community sites exclusively 
for teaching senior citizens how to use the internet.

The kiosks are essentially basic PCs with internet connections.

NEC Australia group manager, David Cooke, said the company was currently 
processing hundreds of applications from community sites for the kiosks.

The contract for the program was awarded to NEC subsidiary Nextep in 
November 2008.

Nextep is providing contract management and staff to run the program as 
well as internet access. Some sites would be provisioned using existing 
internet connections, Mr Cooke said.

Education and training for seniors will be provided by volunteers 
through partnerships with Adult Leaning Australia, the Australian 
Seniors Computer Clubs Association and U3A Online.

The task of ensuring seniors are given exclusive access to the 
computers, some of which would be placed in public libraries, has been 
placed in the hands of staff at sites involved.

Mr Cooke said staff would use “experience” to judge who qualified as a 

"I think more often than not a senior is probably fairly visible to 
everyone around them as to whether they fall into the category.

"If the question is are we assessing whether they're 54 or 56, I think 
we're leaving that to experience and we're not policing it,” Mr Cooke said.

NEC will be paid in tranches, the first of which is $1.5 million due 
now. Mr Cooke said he was not sure when the next tranche of payment for 
the contract was due nor its value.

The other 1958 computers will be rolled out over the remaining 30 months 
of the three-year program.


Bernard Robertson-Dunn
Canberra Australia
brd at iimetro.com.au

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