Fixed Wireless tower network power resiliency project now complete
Internet users across several regional Queensland Shire Councils can better rely on their internet connectivity in times of natural or other disasters following the completion of work to make Fixed Wireless tower infrastructure more resilient.
nbn Fixed Wireless infrastructure has been bolstered through the installation of Hybrid Power Cubes that can maintain power and internet connectivity during times of natural or other disasters.
The completion of the $4.4 million nbn Hybrid Power Cube Project was funded under the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants Program (BSBR). The grant funded the development and installation of 33 Hybrid Power Cubes at Fixed Wireless Installations across the Gympie, Whitsunday, Fraser Coast, North Burnett and Bundaberg Regional Councils.
A Hybrid Power Cube is an environmentally friendly, hybrid technology power generation unit combining solar panels, battery, and a compact diesel generator. It provides solar power to Fixed Wireless hub sites during the day and, for power resilience, relies on excess battery and grid power at night.
Head of nbn local QLD Kylie Lindsay said the completion of the project ahead of the 2023 summer bushfire season will help bolster local network resiliency.
“Power outages are the main reason for the majority of outages on the nbn® network during emergencies,” she said.
“In strategically installing Hybrid Power Cubes at key Fixed Wireless sites throughout regional Queensland, nbn has significantly reduced the vulnerability of its communication infrastructure to power outages during natural disasters.
“We know how important access to connectivity is for homes and businesses across Australia and the completion of this project is part of the continuing work we are doing as part of our national emergency and disaster preparedness plans.”
After several years of rain and flooding, some Australian regions and communities will this year be facing drier conditions and potential bushfires.
Changing weather means different risks to homes, businesses and infrastructure, however it’s still important for individuals and communities to be prepared.
Ahead of the 2023 summer season, nbn is asking households and businesses to take four simple steps to be prepared:
- Stay mobile: 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. Turn off mobile data when not needed and unnecessary apps to save battery.
- 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: 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: 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.
Large emergency events in the past few years mean nbn is prepared for what the 2022-23 summer season may bring.
nbn has a range of assets that can be deployed to emergency evacuation centres and other community hubs to provide temporary access to voice and broadband services.
These include mobile satellite trucks and satellite ‘fly-away’ kits that are easily moved and set up to where the need is greatest. Temporary emergency management solutions are only available for deployment in emergency situations and can be requested by emergency services via the state/territory emergency management processes.
“Now is the time to begin planning and be prepared for what could happen,” Ms Lindsay said.
NOTES TO EDITORS
- On social media, @NBN_Australia provides the most up-to-date information and advice concerning network outages and restoration as they occur.
- The majority of outages on the nbn network during emergencies are caused by power outages.
- Equipment connected via the nbn network will not work during a power outage. If the network is not working due to a loss of power this does not automatically mean the network itself is damaged.
- We have a range of localised spokespeople available for updates. For requests, and to ensure it is captured by anyone on-call out of hours, email firstname.lastname@example.org
- nbn is not responsible for the operation of mobile networks. If you have questions concerning mobile network connectivity and outages (including restoration), you will need to speak with the telco operators themselves (Telstra, Optus, Vodafone).
- nbn has a number of generators on standby to support connectivity to critical infrastructure and services in areas where power outages occur. These are deployed in emergency situations where it is safe to do so, and in co-ordination with emergency services and authorities where need is greatest.
- Our website ‘What happens during a power blackout?’ is a good resource for communicating how our different technology types are affected during power loss.
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