Resources NRS Request for Tender

NRS Request for Tender

NRS Request for Tender Comparison

2012 RFT2018 RFTCoalition RFT Wishlist
1. Background
The National Relay Service (NRS) is a legislated Public Interest Telecommunication Service under the TCPSS Act. Public Interest Telecommunication Services are delivered under contract to the Australian Government, with funding primarily drawn from the Telecommunications Industry Levy. The Department manages contracts for the provision of Public Interest Telecommunication Services, including the NRS, on behalf of the Australian Government.
1. Background
The National Relay Service (NRS) is a legislated Public Interest Telecommunication Service under the TCPSS Act. Public Interest Telecommunication Services are delivered under contract to the Australian Government, with funding primarily drawn from the Telecommunications Industry Levy. The Department manages contracts for the provision of Public Interest Telecommunication Services, including the NRS, on behalf of the Australian Government.
1. Background
The National Relay Service (NRS) is a legislated Public Interest Telecommunication Service under the TCPSS Act. Public Interest Telecommunication Services are delivered under contract to the Australian Government, with funding primarily drawn from the Telecommunications Industry Levy. The Department manages contracts for the provision of Public Interest Telecommunication Services, including the NRS, on behalf of the Australian Government.
The NRS was established in 1995 to assist Australians who are deaf, hearing and/or speech impaired to communicate with the general community via the dominant telecommunications option at that time – voice telephony. Since the establishment of the NRS, the communications sector in Australia has undergone significant changes, with an increasing reliance on text-based communication options directly establishing connections between individuals, businesses and organisations throughout Australia.

Many of these options are suitable for users of the NRS.
The NRS was established in 1995 to assist Australians who are deaf, hearing and/or speech impaired to communicate with the general community via the dominant telecommunications option at that time – voice telephony. Since the establishment of the NRS, the communications sector in Australia has undergone significant changes, with an increasing reliance on text-based communication options directly establishing connections between individuals, businesses and organisations throughout Australia.
Many of these options are NOT yet suitable for users of the NRS as they do not provide real-time communication.
The tender specifications are:
· a Relay Service which relays calls between the deaf, hearing and speech impaired communities and the broader community; and
· an Outreach Service that promotes community awareness and acceptance of the NRS, delivers training on how to use the service and operates a helpdesk that provides information on how the NRS works, including the different call options and equipment available, and handles feedback and complaints.
The tender specifications are:
The range of service options provided in a Tender response must meet the range of needs of communities using the NRS (the Service Access Options). The Commonwealth is seeking an appropriate balance between meeting these needs.
Tender responses must include details of how an appropriate balance in meeting the needs of all users of the NRS is achieved through the range of Service Access Options proposed and within budget.
The tender specifications are:
· a Relay Service which relays calls between the deaf, deafblind, hearing and speech impaired communities and the broader community; and
· an Outreach Service that promotes community awareness and acceptance of the NRS, delivers training on how to use the service and operates a helpdesk that provides information on how the NRS works, including the different call options and equipment available, and handles feedback and complaints.
The relay services components are:
Part A – Core Relay Services

Core Relay Services includes all service options available through the existing NRS in Australia for TTY, internet relay and Speak and Listen (Speech to Speech) users.
Part B – Captioned telephony

Captioned telephony is an alternative service delivery option for Speak and Read service users.
Part C – Solution for Auslan users

TUSMA is seeking solutions for a service that meets the telecommunications needs of people for whom Auslan is their preferred first language.
The relay services components are:
· 106 Calls, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to Service Users;
· text-to-text-based communication options (availability unknown);
· communication options for those who would prefer to speak their side of the conversation (availability unknown); and
· a communication option for those whose preferred language is Auslan (availability unknown).
The relay services components are:

· TTY relay
· IP Relay
· SMS Relay including Real Time Text
· Video Relay
· Speech to Speech Relay
· Captioned Relay
· Emergency Access / 106 Relay
All relay services to be available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to Service Users.
Outreach and help Desk service
· an Outreach Service that promotes community awareness and acceptance of the NRS, delivers training on how to use the service and operates a helpdesk that provides information on how the NRS works, including the different call options and equipment available, and handles feedback and complaints.
Outreach and help Desk service

No Outreach Service

Help desk service requirement
Outreach and help Desk service

A NRS Outreach program is a mandatory and
essential element to complement the support and operation of the NRS.

An Outreach Service will promote community awareness and acceptance of the NRS, provides and manages a NRS website, delivers training on how to use the service and operates a helpdesk that provides information on how the NRS works, including the different call options and equipment available, and handles feedback and complaints.

A short detailed review on the Outreach service will include assessing a one NRS/Outreach program option as opposed to two separate services. The decision to separate the two services was made in 2006 and potentially goes against universal standards and practice for relay services around the world.
Emergency service access

Ensuring that all users of the NRS have access to the 106 text emergency call service or the Triple Zero emergency call service is a central component of the NRS. The relay service provider must relay all genuine NRS communications requesting access to police, fire or ambulance.

This service must operate 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Emergency service access

The successful Tenderer must provide the 106 text emergency service (106 Calls) for teletypewriter (TTY) users 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This must be addressed in any Tender response.
The successful Tenderer must provide continuous 24 hours a day, 365 days a year access to emergency services for users of the NRS who do not have a TTY or are away from their TTY by provision of suitable relay calls to emergency services through Triple Zero.
Emergency service access

The successful Tenderer must provide the 106 text emergency service (106 Calls) for teletypewriter (TTY) users 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This must be addressed in any Tender response.
The successful Tenderer must provide continuous 24 hours a day, 365 days a year access to emergency services for users of the NRS who call via other relay service modes such as IP Relay, Video Relay, SMS relay, captioned relay by provision of suitable relay calls to emergency services through Triple Zero.
OtherOther
Registration system
Compulsory user registration to access the NRS will be introduced during the term of the Services Agreement with the successful Tenderer.
Other

Research with the Department and NRS user communities to be undertaken to determine both NRS user willingness to voluntarily register to use the NRS services as well as to determine what service improvements and cost savings could be achieved through implementation of a seamless registration scheme.
Budget

$20 million per annum
Budget
An annual funding allocation of $22 million (including GST) per year remains in place for delivery of the NRS. The funding allocation applies to delivery of the relay service component of the service, with helpdesk support, and the introduction of a new registration system.
Budget
The ongoing funding of the NRS will be on
a cost recovery basis to ensure the ongoing provision of essential communication services for Australians who are deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind or speech impaired.

There will be no cap on NRS service funding.