The federal government is looking for a partner to continue its Regional Tech Hub initiative to support Australians with technology issues from rural and remote locations.
The Hub, which first launched in December 2020, provides information and troubleshooting advice on connectivity online and over the phone for Australians not located in metropolitan locations.
With the initial contract for the Hub due to expire in June this year, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts is seeking to extend this support for another three years via a request for tender (RFT).
Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland announced the extension of the Hub in November 2022, at the time claiming $6 million was set aside to extend the Hub.
The extension proposes to tackle three areas. The first is on supporting regional, rural and remote users of communication services by increasing skills and confidence levels.
Meanwhile, the second element is to offer resources on “innovative residential and business applications for available communications technologies relevant to the regional, rural and remote context”.
Lastly, the extension is also aimed to support unconnected users over the phone and help them get online and utilise relevant resources.
Partners will be expected to supply the information, link to third-party resources and communicate with regional personnel on best practices regarding communicating via emails and over the phone.
Successful partners are expected to deliver higher metrics than what was achieved during the 2022 calendar year – 62,600 visits to the website, 1,300 support tickets raised, over 1,000 emails and contact forms, 702 phone calls, 104 contacts through social media and 26 instances of live chats.
Additionally, the Hub attended 36 regional community events to promote the service.
Interested parties have until 14 April to apply to the RFT.