Feasibility trial for public safety program
The delivery of a communication technology platform for emergency services in Australia has taken a step forward with the signing of a contract to develop a feasibility trial for the national Public Safety Mobile Broadband program.
As a result of the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements and its implementation of recommendations for Australian, state and territory government implementation, recommendation 6.4 sought the delivery of a public safety, mobile broadband capability.
The NSW Government, on behalf of all state and territory governments, and the Australian Government have committed to work with Nokia, TPG Telecom and Optus to develop and test technology in a trial that will help shape the design of the national platform for emergency service communications.
Federal Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said the national program, overseen by the new National Emergency Management Ministers’ Meeting, will deliver a mobile broadband platform to help emergency service organisations communicate more reliably. “One of the lessons from the Black Summer bushfires was the critical importance of communications — staying connected and getting access to information to make decisions can save lives,” Minister Littleproud said.
The Commonwealth Government notes that work is already underway to roll out the Public Safety Mobile Broadband (PSMB) capability. In order to expedite this rollout, agreement will be needed on the Commonwealth’s spectrum offer to the states and territories as well as completion of proof-of-concept trials. The Commonwealth is also exploring additional opportunities and technologies, such as satellite communications, that might augment a PSMB capability into the future.
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