Round 2 of mobile resilience program opens


Wednesday, 20 September, 2023

Round 2 of mobile resilience program opens

Applications are now open for Round 2 of the Australian Government’s Mobile Network Hardening Program (MNHP), which is making up to $15 million available to help mitigate the impact of natural disasters on mobile services across regional, rural and remote Australia.

The program aims to reduce the risks of service outages and improve restoration times during natural disasters in impacted communities by funding projects like portable generators, power backup upgrades and physical tower hardening. The design of the second round was informed by feedback from regional Australians, community groups and the telco industry to ensure the final guidelines meet the needs of communities at risk of natural disasters.

Resilience upgrades eligible for funding under the MNHP include:

  • Upgrading backup power capacity to a minimum of 12 hours at mobile sites;
  • Physically elevating infrastructure to protect it from floods;
  • Delivering emergency power solutions — like portable power generators — to rapidly restore services during or after a disaster;
  • Providing redundant backhaul so that sites have multiple connections to the network in case one goes down;
  • Expanding protection zones around mobile sites to decrease bushfire risk.
     

While grant funding is available for mobile network operators, infrastructure providers and managers of a telco network, the government has established a project noticeboard to allow communities to engage with telcos on projects they want to see in their community.

“Round 2 of the Mobile Networking Hardening Program will deliver resilience improvements in communities across the country,” said Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland.

“The MNHP is part of the Albanese government’s $2.2 billion investment in regional communications; the most significant funding investment by any government since the inception of the National Broadband Network.

“I strongly encourage communities and telecommunications providers to work together to identify potential projects, particularly those which are a priority to remote and First Nations communities.”

Applications for Round 2 of the MNHP close on 17 November 2023, with a further round expected to be announced in 2024. For more information or to apply, click here.

Image credit: iStock.com/davidf

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