Compare phone plans but consider NBN benefits

Telecommunications retailers can often offer comprehensive packages for households and businesses, providing telephone, mobile, internet and television options for users in bundles.

Over the next three years, 3.5 million Australians will experience the increased connectivity that the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN) will provide - meaning consumers will be able to take more into consideration when they compare phone plans.

Among the benefits of high-speed connectivity is the increased ability to provide services to rural and outlying communities.

Telehealth is one of these services being trialled by the federal government, which aims to provide cancer patients, the elderly and those in need of palliative care quick assistance and ease of communication with healthcare professionals.

Minister for health Tanya Plibersek explained yesterday (April 4): "Imagine a cancer patient in Mandurah, Western Australia, speaking with her oncologist in Perth. She can remain in the comfort of her own home with family and carers, while her specialist collects real time vital statistics such as blood pressure or heart rate via the NBN."

Ms Plibersek and minister for broadband, communications and the digital economy, Stephen Conroy, announced an invitation for funding applications for pilot telehealth schemes.

The government is contributing $20.6 million over the next two years for innovative health initiatives which utilise the NBN.

Posted by Eve Gillespie