15NRHC Recommendation - 03/25/2019 - 15:37

National Telehealth capability will be a key enabler for future health models and requires continued investment in affordable mobile connectivity and adequate bandwidth for rural and remote communities

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I think we need to think more widely than just mobile phone services. Other forms of connectivity may be a better solution than mobile phone service expansion - and cheaper/safer. We should look more at expanding access to fixed wireless and improve performance of NBN SkyMuster. We've demonstrated that we can do telehealth well with high quality (mining-grade) satellite, however, doing telehealth via fixed wireless and SkyMuster needs additional work. We need to encourage NBN Co to invest in developing internet access adequate for telehealth and video conferencing solutions for RRR Australia including for education and health, access to government services and the development of employment/entrepreneurship in RRR. We need to congratulate NBN Co for putting the effort into working to address some of these access issues in very remote Australia - but some of the other Telco's need to lift their game. We need to get better fault resolution and installation services for all telcos. Many remote and very remote low income people (including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people) spend a significant amount of their limited income on pre-paid mobile services. We spent approximately $250 in about 10 days on prepaid intent and all we did was a small amount of download (eg weather, trouble shooting ICT problems), accessing on-line files and our email. Telco's need to provide much more affordable data services for RRR. I tried to tackle the Telstra Representative at the Australian Communications Coalition Action Network Conference - and he ran away very quickly. Possibly invite some key telco's to the next conference and get them involved in addressing some of our connectivity issues related to health. We definitely need to invest in better and more reliable telecommunications services and RRR people need access to 2 different technologies - so that when one fails they may be able to access services via the other service.