Life in Milyakburra just got a little less remote with the installation of a free public internet system.
The tiny community is on Bickerton Island halfway between Groote Eylandt and the rugged mainland coast of the Northern Territory. But its 60 regular residents now find themselves more connected to the rest of the world than ever before with the new WiFi and satellite system.
Designed and installed by Easyweb Digital, a specialist WiFi company with offices in Darwin, the system provides blanket WiFi coverage to the entire township. Locals and visitors are able to log on with any WiFi enabled device with a single click.
Backhaul to the system is provided by a dedicated satellite dish mounted next the Milyakburra Business Centre.
The project, supported by DEEWR, PaCE, Lagulalya Aboriginal Corporation, MJD Foundation, NT Library, Anindilyakwa Land Council, and AIRemote, provides a unique solution to a unique challenge. With even fixed line telephone services to the community provided via wireless link back to an exchange on Groote Eylandt and no mobile coverage at all, communications in the island community have always been an issue.
The community was recently quoted $80,000 by a major telco just to conduct a feasibility study to tackle the problem. For little more than half that cost, the community is now connected to the internet for the first time.