$11m for Aussie Telcos to fight natural disaster outages

The Australian Government has announced that it is awarding Telstra, Optus and TPG Telecom (the owners of Vodafone Australia) $10.9 million to help build the resilience of mobile telecommunications network sites across Australia against disasters natural.

As part of the federal government Mobile Network Strengthening Program (MNHP), mobile network sites on all three networks should be upgraded in areas prone to bushfires and natural disasters. The program aims to strengthen the sites against breakdowns in the event of a natural disaster.

The announcement comes as parts of Australia’s east coast suffer massive flooding. As we reported last week, swaths of East Coast mobile networks and parts of the NBN network went offline due to flooding.

Additionally, during the 2019-2020 bushfires, it was found that most network outages were caused by power failure.

This financing aims to fight against natural disasters in Australia by strengthening the mobile network sites of our three major telecom operators.

For context, this is the second stage of the program. In the first step$13.2 million was awarded to the three major network operators to upgrade battery backup power to at least 12 hours of network downtime at 467 macrocell base stations.

The mobile network strengthening program is now in its second phase. By keeping mobile networks online in areas affected by natural disasters, people will be able to access necessary websites and information and call people without worrying about service interruptions during natural disasters.

Under this funding, Australian grid operators are expected to deploy 220 new generators, 47 battery capacity upgrades, 212 battery extenders (which “enhance” existing capacity), perform battery upgrades transmission resilience in 25 mobile network clusters (composed of 320 base stations) and structural upgrades at 40 sites against bushfire damage.

“The MNHP demonstrates our government’s continued commitment to improving the resilience and preparedness of the mobile network so that communities can better cope with future emergencies and natural disasters,” said Federal Minister of Regional Communications and Minister of Management. Emergencies, National Recovery and Resilience, Senator Bridget McKenzie.

“Mobile phones are increasingly important for people in regional and remote communities to stay in touch with friends and loved ones and to access essential supports during and after natural disasters such as bushfires and floods. .

“While these improvements will provide a significant boost at the local level, it is also important to remind people of the need to be prepared for emergencies and natural disasters that can strike at any time. I encourage people to make sure they are prepared, including having plans for power outages and other services. »

These upgrades should begin shortly. You can find all sites receiving updates here.