Politics

Regional tech hub provides connection help

Regional Australia’s internet and mobile phone frustrations could soon be eased through a new free advice service.

The Regional Tech Hub is designed to be a one-stop shop for key communications questions for people living in the country.

The new service will aim to solve queries like types of connections available, data needs and whether features of a property like trees are impacting reception.

The hub’s manager Jenna Widdison said knowing the internet connection which best suits people’s needs could be complex in regional areas.

“Sometimes what works for your neighbour, won’t necessarily deliver the connectivity you need and often a connection can be greatly enhanced with a small tweak or with a new piece of basic equipment,” she said.

Ms Widdison, who lives in the NSW town of Adelong and works remotely, said a good connection was fundamental.

“However for many people in regional areas the world of telecommunications services and providers is confusing and complicated to navigate,” she said.

“This can be a major source of frustration and can lead to people settling for a broadband or phone connection that doesn’t meet their needs, without fully understanding their options.”

The National Farmers’ Federation and the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network are behind the service.

NFF chief executive Tony Mahar said putting regional people on an equal footing with city counterparts was at the heart of the plan.

“The Regional Tech Hub staff – who have a wealth of experience in IT, regional communications and customer service – are available to provide one-on-one assistance via phone, email or social media,” he said.

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