Local government councils in New Zealand and Australia have already deployed an app that lets the public immediately report issues, submit ideas and send feedback.
It’s much more convenient for people because they can report things when they find them, or take a photo and report later. They no longer need to find the right phone number and wait in a call queue, says Datacom, which has incorporated these features in its Antenno app.
The app already sends alerts and notifications for places and topics that individuals care about such as home, work, or school.
Datacom says the app is now being used in a number of It is free for people in the community to use and is already in use by a number of councils in New Zealand and Australia.
These include South Waikato District Council and Tāupo District Council in New Zealand, and Shire of Manjimup in Australia.
Datacom says Marlborough District Council and Kāpiti Coast District Council will go live with issue reporting soon.
“We are excited to have achieved two-way communication for councils through the Antenno app, as we believe this to be a first in the local government space,” says Mark Matijevic, director local government at Datacom.
“Now that we’ve built this, we’re expecting to see greater engagement from the community as reporting issues through Antenno is very quick and easy," says Matijevic, in a statement.
Lisa Nairne, Taupō District Council’s head of communications and customer relations, says the council intended to do a soft rollout of the new feature while internal testing took place.
But she says the council received the first reported issue within hours of it going live, which shows the demand is out there.
“As a council, we are always looking for ways to make it easy for our customers to contact us and we are sure the reporting feature will make a marked difference to our customer experience.”
The app is a finalist in the IDC Smart City Awards in the Civic Engagement category.
IDC noted that the Antenno app is designed to be user-friendly. "It can be addressed anonymously without requiring log-in or personal information, as well as can alert its users when an area they care about is affected by external factors (e.g. accidents, natural calamities, other external factors) through a refined filter. Users only receive the messages that are relevant to them.
“In short, this mobile app effectively drives communication dissemination for council services, public safety, public infrastructure, other relevant community information," reports IDC.
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