TasCOSS MEDIA RELEASE: Internet blackout shines light on importance of a digitally included Tasmania

2 March 2022

Yesterday’s digital blackout has shone a light on the difficulties thousands of our fellow Tasmanians face every day because they are locked out of the online world.

TasCOSS CEO Ms Adrienne Picone said digital inclusion was not a ‘nice to have’, but essential in our day to day lives.

“The way much of our society operates, be it applying for jobs, remote working and learning arrangements or managing our personal finances, works on the assumption we all have the access, skills and ability to get online,” said Ms Picone.

“The reality is for more than 65,000 Tasmanians this is not the case, with Tasmania continuing to lag behind as the most digitally disadvantaged state in the country.”

Ms Picone said TasCOSS was pleased to see the Premier commit to improving access to education for students forced to learn remotely due to COVID-19 isolation requirements in yesterday’s State of the State Address.

“$5 million to provide laptops and iPads to Tasmanian public school students is most welcome and will even the playing field for children when learning from home,” she said.

“The cost of digital devices and data presents a significant barrier for many Tasmanian families and the Government’s announcement is a great first step towards bridging the digital divide. 

“It is imperative all school students, regardless or postcode or affluence, have access to education.

“The next step towards bridging the digital divide in our state is to introduce a telecommunications concession for Tasmanians living on low incomes so they can afford mobile and broadband access.”

For more information or to arrange an interview with TasCOSS CEO Adrienne Picone, please contact: