Project to keep nbn running during disasters in SE Qld

Tuesday, 15 August, 2023

Project to keep nbn running during disasters in SE Qld

Communities across South East Queensland and the Fraser Coast are set to benefit from more resilient and reliable telecommunications, with the completion of a new $4.4 million project to keep the nbn running during natural disasters.

Delivered by the Australian Government in collaboration with NBN Co and funded under the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants program, the project has seen the installation of 33 Hybrid Power Cubes across the Gympie, Whitsunday, Fraser Coast, North Burnett and Bundaberg Regional Councils, to maintain power for internet connectivity during times of natural or other disasters.

Described by the government as an innovative and environmentally friendly technology, Hybrid Power Cubes power nbn fixed wireless towers using a combination of solar panels, a battery and a compact diesel generator, providing an uninterrupted power supply to fixed wireless towers when they need it most. Each cube provides solar power to nbn Fixed Wireless hub sites during the day and, for power resilience, relies on excess battery and grid power at night.

Kylie Lindsay, Head of nbn Local Queensland, said the completion of the project ahead of the 2023 summer bushfire season will help bolster local network resiliency, noting, “Power outages are the main reason for the majority of outages on the nbn network during emergencies.

“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.”

“So many communities across Queensland, and the country, know all too well the impacts that natural disasters can have. Access to information and communication is vital in such times,” added Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Minister for Emergency Management Murray Watt.

“By ensuring they can better rely on their internet connectivity during emergencies, this project makes communities safer and more resilient in the face of adversity.”

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