Monday, September 25, 2023

Keeping regional Queenslanders connected in emergencies: Rowland, Watt

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The Hon. Michelle Rowland MP, Minister for Communications, Senator the Hon. Murray Watt, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Minister for Emergency Management, Joint Media Release, 14 July 2023

Communities across South East Queensland and the Fraser Coast will benefit from more resilient and reliable telecommunications, with the completion of a new $4.4 million project to keep the NBN running during natural disasters.

Delivered by the Australian Government in collaboration with NBN Co and funded under the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants program, 33 Hybrid Power Cubes have been installed across the region to maintain power for internet connectivity during times of natural or other disasters.

An innovative and environmentally friendly technology, Hybrid Power Cubes power NBN fixed wireless towers using a combination of solar panels, a battery, and a compact diesel generator, ensuring uninterrupted power supply to fixed wireless towers when it is needed most.

By strategically installing Hybrid Power Cubes at key fixed wireless sites throughout regional Queensland, vital communication infrastructure is now significantly less vulnerable to power outages during natural disasters – keeping communities connected when they need it most.

The 33 Hybrid Power Cubes have been installed across the Gympie, Whitsunday, Fraser Coast, North Burnett and Bundaberg Regional Councils, bolstering sustainable and reliable communications across south eastern Queensland.

The completed project complements work of the Albanese Government to improve communications resilience, including through the $50 million Telecommunications Disaster Resilience Innovation (TDRI) program, and the $20 million Broadcasting Resilience Program (BRP) to increase the resilience of ABC broadcasting sites.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP:

“We know how important connectivity is for homes, businesses and communities – and never more so than in times of natural disaster. Access to reliable communications can be the difference between life and death.

“It’s fantastic to see the deployment of these innovative Hybrid Power Cubes across Queensland to help keep communities connected and informed when they need it most.

“This initiative shows what can be achieved through close collaboration between the Australian Government and NBN Co to improve the resilience of our communications networks.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Minister for Emergency Management, Senator The Hon Murray Watt:

“So many communities across Queensland, and the country, know all too well the impacts that natural disasters can have. Access to information and communication is vital in such times.

“By ensuring they can better rely on their internet connectivity during emergencies, this project makes communities safer and more resilient in the face of adversity.”


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