8th December 2020
The Better Internet for Rural, Regional and Remote Australia (BIRRR) team today welcomed the launch of the new Regional Tech Hub (RTH). The newly created support hub will be launched by Minister for Regional Communications, Mark Coulton, National Farmers Federation (NFF) and Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN).
Co-Founder and Chief Admin Kristy Sparrow, said that BIRRR has long advocated for the need for a specialist regional troubleshooting team to help with the vast array of connectivity issues often specific to living beyond urban areas. The new hub will take over the troubleshooting role BIRRR has (inadvertently) taken on over the past six years – in this time the volunteer team has helped thousands of people get (and stay) connected, has built an amazing community offering information and support, and achieved many improvements in regional communications.
BIRRR Chief Admin Kristy Sparrow said while services have improved since the group was founded in 2014, the need for this service remains strong throughout regional Australia. “We know many consumers still find telecommunications in the regions difficult to navigate. BIRRR has been working closely with the RTH to ensure our expertise and knowledge is passed on and that regional users can continue to access independent advice on getting connected and staying connected. We wish NFF, ACCAN, Jenna, Trent and Adam good luck and hope the hub can be as effective as the BIRRR team has been,” Kristy said.
BIRRR Co-Founder Kylie Stretton said their team will now focus its energies on working with stakeholders to ensure government, providers and nbn keep improving telecommunications, policy and funding available to regional areas. “BIRRR will continue to lobby for #betterbushcomms and our Facebook group and website will still exist, however all troubleshooting will now be sent directly to the RTH,” she said. “We are very keen to get back to the core reason we formed BIRRR – to focus more on advocacy and ensure that funding reflects the needs of regional users.”
Kristy added that, “BIRRR’s successful advocacy could not have been possible without the assistance of many individuals and organisations who have contributed their time and funding over the years, and BIRRR would like to thank them for their support.” “To our incredible admin team – Kylie, Kristen, Amanda, Julie and Claire, your dedication, patience and passion has been invaluable. We have demonstrated how respectful, knowledgeable lobbying can influence and make an impact on regional issues.”
Australians in regional and remote areas who need practical advice on getting connected and staying connected are encouraged to visit the Regional Tech Hub website at regionaltechhub.org.au or contact the Hub’s enquiry hotline on: 1300 081 029
BIRRR TEAM in Canberra advocating for a Digital Tech Hub Kristy Sparrow (Alpha QLD), Kylie Stretton (Charters Towers, QLD), Kristen Coggan (Condamine, QLD) Julie Stott (Oberon, NSW) & Amanda Salisbury (Monto, QLD)