The Federal Government has launched its online Regional Tech Hub in order to help Australians in rural and remote areas solve telecommunications issues.
The Hub includes an online portal with information on troubleshooting internet and phone issues, as well as advice on improving connections for businesses and consumers.
It also contains a forum, as well as a phone hotline staffed by tech support experts, which is open from 2pm to 7pm on Mondays and Tuesdays and 7:30am to 12:30pm from Wednesday to Friday.
Regional Communications Minister Mark Coulton launched the Hub on 8 December, claiming that it will help with resolving rural Australians’ phone and internet problems.
He also said the service will assist with providing information on what telecommunication options are available to users and help with deciding on what options would work best for them.
Development of the Hub has been in the works since at least last year, which was funded as part of the Government’s $220 million Stronger Regional Digital Connectivity Program in March 2019 as part of its response to the recommendations of the 2018 Regional Telecommunications Review.
Meanwhile, the government looked for a partner to develop the hub from late May this year and selected the farming and agricultural body National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) in September for an initial 12-month contract with an option for a two-year extension.
In addition, the NFF is working with the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network organisation on the Hub, and, according to NFF president Fiona Simson, builds on work by volunteer organisation Better Internet for Rural, Regional and Remote Australia.
“The Regional Tech Hub delivers on the Government’s commitment to help improve the digital literacy of Australians in regional, rural and remote areas by providing a one-stop source of independent, practical advice,” Coulton said.
“The Federal Coalition is committed to improving digital connectivity and access to the internet for all Australians, and the Regional Tech Hub is an important part of our approach to ensuring people understand all the options available to them, from mobile networks to the NBN Sky Muster Plus.”