Monday, 25 October 2021 09:08

NBN prepares for the disasters, adding 58 new pieces of temporary infrastructure Featured

Paul Fletcher and Gavin Williams Paul Fletcher and Gavin Williams

In the event NBN needs to restore services during an emergency, NBN says it will work closely with power companies and the emergency services and work to restore services as soon as it is safe to do so.

NBN also has temporary network infrastructure which may be deployed, where it is safe, into communities following emergency events to provide temporary internet services at community hubs and relief centres.

NBN says this season’s recovery efforts will be boosted by the addition of 58 new pieces of temporary infrastructure, including Multi Technology Trailers (MTT), Network on Wheels, Wireless Mast Trailers and and Hybrid Power Cubes, which will be stationed in different locations across the country for potential deployment when needed.

The $6 million-worth of new infrastructure, which was partially funded by the Australian Government’s Strengthening Telecommunications Against Natural Disasters (STAND) package, joins NBN’s fleet of Sky Muster Trucks and portable satellite kits which also help provide communities with connectivity in the aftermath of emergencies.

NBN also continues to roll out the NBN Disaster Satellite Service, with up to 2000 satellite kits to be deployed as part of the federally funded STAND Package (Strengthening Telecommunication against Natural Disasters). The NBN Disaster Satellite Service units are being installed at designated emergency management sites and evacuation centres across the country.

The services provide a back-up communications connection using satellite technology and can be switched on during an emergency event, providing free full satellite broadband functionality, including Wi-Fi and video streaming, NBN said.

NBN chief development officer regional and remote Gavin Williams said, “I can’t stress how important it is for all households in Australia to be prepared this disaster season and follow our tips to help them maintain communication during emergency events.

“As always, we hope people won’t need to rely on these tips, but the more work we do now, the more prepared we will be in the unfortunate event something happens.

“In any situation our priority is keeping people safe and supporting the local community. Our teams will work with emergency services when preparing for a disaster and will be ready to repair and restore the network as soon as it is safe to do so.

“The new power cubes and portable satellite kits will enhance our capabilities when it comes to reconnecting communities during these events.

“Emergency preparedness is truly a community effort; we are prepared with our contingency measures and if households are prepared with those tips, we can work together to manage the impacts of emergency events and help stay connected.”

Paul Fletcher Minister for Communications Urban Infrastructure Cities and the Arts (pictured on left) said, "Working closely together, the Morrison Government and NBN Co have taken the lessons from the devastating 2019-20 bushfires, in which loss of connectivity was a significant issue for many isolated communities.

"The $37.1 million Strengthening Telecommunications Against Natural Disasters (STAND) Package is a key component of the Government's response to the bushfires through the National Bushfire Recovery Fund.

"As another disaster season looms, NBN is stepping up its emergency preparedness and it was encouraging to see some of the assets that STAND has made possible on display. Those assets included hybrid powercubes, multi tech trailers and RoadMuster trucks."

This first appeared in the subscription newsletter CommsWire on 19 October 2021.

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Chris Coughlan

A versatile technology executive with extensive experience in most disciplines and technologies in the Information and Communications Technologies sector. Roles have encompassed general management, product management, business development, sales management, industry marketing, operations management, research and development, business case development, market research and forecasting, regulatory, strategy management, solution development, major project construction, process design and management, technology and management consulting, and engineering.

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