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RURAL access to tele-communications links will be boosted thanks to more than $15 million funding from the Federal Government’s Network-ing the Nation program.

Communications Minister Richard Alston said 236 projects worth about $108 million had been funded so far.

“The projects will have a significant impact on regional, rural and remote communities in terms of improved access, availability and training in telecommunications services leading to better job, educational, export, health and legal services for regional Australia,” Senator Alston said.

The $250 million, five year program was established from the proceeds of the initial Telstra float.

Regional communities can apply for funding for projects suiting the community’s own special needs, with decisions made by an independent board including rural, regional and industry representatives.

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