New England communities hit by a natural disaster will be able to be reconnected with loved ones and essential services faster as part of a suite of Telstra upgrades, new equipment and other initiatives in the region.
Ahead of a challenging season, a number of towns in the area are being bolstered with upgraded power backup technology, in addition to mobile coverage and performance improvements across the state, to help communities affected by disaster reconnect and recover as quickly as possible. Four new trailer-mounted, high-powered generators are being rolled out to key parts of the New England region this summer, as part of a multi-million-dollar co-investment under the Federal Government’s Strengthening Telecommunications Against Natural Disasters (STAND) program.
Telstra Regional General Manager Michael Marom said Telstra was rolling out the upgrades and trialing technology across the New England region in addition to a suite of national initiatives to help disaster-hit communities weather the storm.
“New England communities sadly know first-hand what Mother Nature can do and we know how important it is to be able to stay in touch with loved ones during a natural disaster,” Mr Marom said.
“We have a long history of responding to extreme weather events. Our people are often the first on the ground to assess and restore our network when it’s safe to do so.
“While our network and other infrastructure like electricity can be affected during a natural disaster, we continually work to find better, faster ways to reconnect affected communities.
“We’re rolling out these new measures right now while also working towards a more resilient future.”
Telstra is deploying 110 of these new generators across the country, including Inverell, Gunnedah, Tamworth and Armidale.
“Extended power outages are often a major cause of our network going down. The quicker our network sites are powered up, the quicker we can reconnect a community,” Mr Marom said.
“We have back up power systems built into many of our network sites, but these high-powered provide extra support in regional areas recently affected by bushfires or at risk of natural disasters and will help restore power to affected sites and help improve telecommunications resilience.”
Telstra says the upgrades and additional capabilities are in addition to their continual expansion and improvement of its mobile network in the state and across the nation, and other initiatives such as extra data and emergency roaming for those in disaster affected areas.