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Online portal offers tech support to businesses working remotely

Australian small-to-medium businesses with staff working remotely during the COVID-19 outbreak, now have access to a new website with free practical tools for video conferencing, virtual meetings and other remote business services, to support the continuity of their operations.

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The new website – Australian Business Continuity – was launched by the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) and technology partners including Microsoft, Cisco, ServiceNow, Adobe, Telstra, Google, Facebook, SAP, Salesforce and others.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews said the new site offers clear and targeted information to support businesses using alternative work arrangements and new technologies during this period.

“This is just another example of how our business community – in this case the tech sector – is stepping up to help other Australian SMEs navigate the unprecedented challenges of coronavirus,” Andrews said.

“Working remotely is foreign to many businesses but is now essential as they practice social distancing and I encourage all businesses to explore the new hub and see how it could help them make it to the other side of this outbreak.”

Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Paul Fletcher said he was pleased to see the tech sector mobilizing quickly to offer tangible support for Australian businesses so they can sustain the important work they do.

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“Businesses are well placed to take advantage of remote working solutions with the National Broadband Network now 95% complete, providing more than 11 million homes and businesses across Australia with fast, reliable and affordable broadband,” he said.

NBN Co has also made 40% more network capacity available to retail service providers at no additional charge for at least three months.

“This additional capacity allows more data to move through the network at high speed, which will underpin people’s productivity and connectivity requirements as they shift their work habits in response to COVID-19.”

The new AIIA hub complements the government’s existing website for small to medium enterprises – business.gov.au.

The government’s business hotline – 13 28 46 – has expanded its operation this week and is now taking calls from 7am to 9pm, seven days per week. Additional agents, including specialists, have been added to the team to provide support on government assistance to businesses, including information on access to the stimulus package and assistance for employees.

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