Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, says lives could be saved during future disasters following the installation of an nbn™ Disaster Satellite Service at the Glen Innes Fire Control Centre in Lambeth Street.
“This is the first service to be rolled out in New England through funding provided by the Australian Government’s Strengthening Telecommunications Against Natural Disasters (STAND) package.
“This satellite dish will prove vital in emergencies like bushfires and floods for use when terrestrial communications networks aren’t working due to power loss or damage to communications infrastructure. If mobile and fixed-line connectivity goes down, these satellite dishes will allow continued broadband connectivity—including for voice service—to these vital locations,” Mr Joyce said.
nbn™ Disaster Satellite Service units are being installed at designated emergency management sites and evacuation centres across the country. The service provides a back-up communications connection using satellite technology and will be switched on to ‘disaster mode’ during an emergency, providing free full satellite broadband functionality, including Wi-Fi and video streaming.
Satellite dish locations were nominated by federal, state and territory governments and relevant emergency service agencies, with NBN Co working with service delivery providers on the installation and activation of services.
Mr Joyce said this was a crucial investment ahead of the next bushfire season.
“And in more good news, planning is underway for a second satellite dish to be installed at Quirindi later this year,” Mr Joyce said.
The dishes are connected to the NBN’s Sky Muster satellites, which have coverage of all 7.7 million square kilometres of Australia.
The Coalition Government recognises the essential role of fire service depots and evacuation centres during times of crisis, which is why it committed $7 million to deliver upgraded connectivity to these locations across the country. Dishes have now been installed on 100 Rural Fire Service building and evacuation centres across Australia under the $37.1 million Strengthening Telecommunications Against Natural Disasters (STAND) package.
To find out more about STAND visit www.communications.gov.au/STAND