CQ disaster-ready as new satellite trucks deployed
CENTRAL Queensland’s ability to deal with emergencies will be strengthened by the deployment of NBN communications trucks and the installation of a satellite at the Rockhampton Showgrounds.
The Federal Government will spend $37.1 million as part of its Strengthening Telecommunications Against Natural Disasters package to buy, among other things, five NBN road muster trucks, which will be spread across the country.
The trucks can be deployed anywhere to provide temporary Wi-Fi connectivity and phone reception to people hit by natural disasters.
Head of NBN Local Queensland Kylie Lindsay urged Central Queenslanders to be prepared for emergencies.
“If you have a modem or router that’s plugged into mains power, if that goes out the NBN is not going to work,” she said.
“The best way for people to be prepared is to have an emergency kit, and as part of that kit, they should include a fully-charged mobile phone and a battery-powered radio to be able to continue their communications.”
Ms Lindsay said a satellite dish would also be installed at the Rockhampton Showgrounds by the end of this year.
“That service will then be able to throw Wi-Fi around not only to the community, but assist emergency services with maintaining their connectivity as well,” she said.
“It’s shown time and time again in disasters that it’s very resilient.”
Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said communication was vital during emergencies to keep people safe, but no communications network was completely resilient to natural disasters.
“Telecommunications networks rely on power to keep operating,” he said.
“If a natural disaster hits and the power goes out, it’s possible that you will lose internet access and mobile phone coverage – and the outages may last for days.”
“This package is funding temporary telecommunications facilities such as five NBN Road Muster trucks; it is also funding additional back-up power for hundreds of mobile base stations around the country so that they can keep operating for up to twelve hours if the mains power goes down.”
Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said that the government’s investment would help people in disaster-affected areas to stay in touch with family.
“It’s reassuring to know that communities can have access to internet, phone charging stations and important community updates should a natural disaster occur,” she said.