The Government has selected the first round of applicants that are eligible under the Digital Hubs and Digital Enterprise programs.
The programs are positioned to help local communities take advantage of the National Broadband Network (NBN) with the help of funding of $13.6 million and $10 million.
Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, made the announcement and emphasised that the programs form the Government's commitment to assisting communities to take advantage of the NBN.
"I congratulate the successful round one applicants to these programs which will deliver digital economy services in the five NBN mainland first-release sites and three stage one communities in Tasmania," he said.
"I also commend the local councils representing the first-release communities for their progress in developing project business cases for funding under round one of the $17.1 million Digital Local Government program."
The programs support the Government's National Digital Economy Strategy to make Australia a leading global digital economy by 2020.
Enabling communities to use the funding to deliver enhanced online council services to residents and businesses via the NBN forms part of that strategy. With round one over, the second round of applications for the Digital Hubs, Digital Enterprise and Digital Local Government programs are now open for the next 19 eligible communities seeking funding.
The Digital Hubs program provides training for communities in digital literacy and the chance to experience the NBN's services, the Digital Enterprise program gives assistance for SMEs and not-for-profit organisations, and the Digital Local Government program offers funding to local governments to help them improve their online council services.
Round two of applications for the Digital Hubs and Digital Enterprise programs will close on 3 February 2012, and councils will need to confirm their interest in participating in the Digital Local Government program by the end of January 2012 and to submit their project business cases by the end of March 2012 to be eligible.