Mobile Network Hardening Program Round 2 results


Wednesday, 12 June, 2024

Mobile Network Hardening Program Round 2 results

Hundreds more regional and remote communities are set to benefit from improved mobile network resilience through the Australian Government’s Mobile Network Hardening Program (MNHP).

The MNHP is a government initiative funding upgrades to improve the resilience of mobile network telecommunications infrastructure in regional Australia. It aims to reduce the risks of service outages during natural disasters and throughout the response and recovery period.

Round 2 of the MNHP is providing $14.2 million for 386 projects, including:

  • Battery back-up power upgrades that will uplift power reserves to provide an additional 12 hours of service during outages.
  • Upgrades to transmission resiliency across clusters of connected base stations. This will mitigate the potential for single points of failure to cause outages.
  • Permanent generators that will provide 5–7 days of backup power.
     

Approximately 90% of the 988 Round 1 MNHP projects to improve mobile network telecommunications infrastructure resilience, announced in February 2022, are now complete. Round 2 funding brings the total number of projects to 1385, with a further round expected later this year.

“While no telecommunications network can ever be 100% disaster-proof, the Albanese government is determined to reduce the risk of communications outages during natural disasters,” said Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland.

“Funded through our $1.1 billion Better Connectivity Plan, the Mobile Network Hardening Program is another example of how the Albanese government is delivering on our commitment to improve connectivity for regional, rural, remote Australians.”

Digital infrastructure organisation Indara received program funding to develop two Disaster Recovery Skids that will provide critical network resilience in key regional communities across NSW, Tasmania and Victoria, particularly during natural disasters — with the company’s CEO, Cameron Evans, saying the MNHP provides a momentous step forward for Australia’s network resilience.

“During a natural disaster, a phone call can be the difference between life and death,” Evans said. “At Indara, our aim is to provide communities across Australia with reliable mobile connection, even when natural disasters hit. This is by no means a small feat. It requires significant investment, skill, resources and government backing.

“The MNHP funding is essential to bring us closer to achieving this goal — much like the Telecommunications Disaster Resilience Innovation funding we received last month to strengthen eight towers during natural disasters. We will continue to work closely with government to keep strengthening critical infrastructure and improve the community’s access to it when they need it most.”

For more information on the program, including the full list of funded projects, visit www.infrastructure.gov.au/mnhp. Rollout schedules will be published on the grantees’ websites once contracts are executed.

Image credit: iStock.com/davidf

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