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Prepare, respond, recover: nbn and emergency events

3-minute read

Discover how you, your business and community can prepare for emergency events, and what to expect from nbn before, during and after.

Australians are experiencing more extreme and frequent weather events including bushfires, cyclones, drought and flooding.

As flooding events unfold in eastern and southern Australian states, nbn is urging communities to prepare for a potential loss of nbn® services during an emergency event, and to test their residential evacuation and business continuity plans.

As the nation braces for more potential extreme weather, we’re urging communities to do what they can to prepare and understand how the nbn network may operate during an emergency event.

A resilient network

The nbn network is designed to withstand as many disruptions as technically possible – if one part of our network is impacted, overall, it can continue to operate.

nbn also invests in additional resilience measures including temporary network infrastructure to expedite network recovery and satellite network infrastructure to support end customers affected by outages.

Where physical damage is caused by extreme events, nbn has assets that can be mobilised quickly to help restore nbn services.

Over the last 18 months, we have installed nbn Disaster Satellite Services at local nominated emergency management sites and evacuation centres across Australia, funded through the Australian Government’s Strengthening Telecommunications Against Natural Disasters (STAND) program.

Our teams also work closely with emergency services and power companies to prepare for potential disasters and ensure we can repair and restore the nbn network as soon as it is safe to do so.

No power? No nbn service

Most outages on the nbn network during emergencies are caused by power outages. During a power outage, any equipment connected via services over the nbn network will not work.

While some parts of the nbn network do have in-built power back up, major power outages may last longer than the battery life.

Before an emergency: how to prepare

It’s important to prepare for potential emergency events by regularly testing evacuation and business continuity plans.

Equipment connected via the nbn network will not work during a power outage. To prepare for an event where you may lose connectivity:

Stay mobile

Stay mobiile

Keep a charged mobile phone and portable mobile battery pack ready to use in a power outage, or if your nbn connection is disrupted in an emergency event. Consider turning off cellular data on unnecessary apps to save battery.

Stay updated

Stay updated

Local radio is a good source of information during an emergency, so include a battery powered radio in your emergency communications kit. Also follow emergency services, including your state Fire and Rescue and Police Services, as well as utility companies and nbn (@NBN_Australia) on social media for updates. 

Back up

Back up

To make sure you can access important information and essential documents from anywhere, including insurance policies and financial documents, consider creating a digital back up on a USB or in the cloud.



Test residential evacuation and business continuity plans, including considering investing in alternative communication and power options to keep your business or community group operating – these need to be tried and tested regularly as part of your Business Continuity Plans, and may include satellite phones and internet services that won't be impacted by terrestrial events including fire and floods.

During: what to expect from nbn

Where there has been an outage, nbn will prioritise reconnecting:

  • essential services, such as hospitals, fire, police and emergency services
  • community infrastructure – including traffic management, sewerage, power and water utilities
  • business services essential to community recovery, such as banks, petrol stations and supermarkets

We also have assets, such as a Network on Wheels, that can be deployed in an emergency to temporarily restore nbn services while more permanent fixes can be implemented.

nbn's Network on Wheels deployed in the field due to a bushfire

Network on Wheels

After an emergency

At nbn, our Emergency Management approach aligns with national and international best practice, and we’re committed to monitoring, reviewing and evolving the way we help communities prepare, respond and recover from emergency events.

“We know how important access to broadband services are for homes and businesses across Australia,” says Gavin Williams, Chief Development Officer – Regional and Remote at nbn.

“Now is the time to begin planning and be prepared for what could happen.”


Gavin Williams, Chief Development Officer – Regional and Remote at nbn

Download Emergency Preparedness Fact Sheets

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