THE HON PAUL FLETCHER MP
Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts
THE HON MICHELLE LANDRY MP
Federal Member for Capricornia
Assistant Minister for Northern Australia
Assistant Minister for Children and Families
JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
A NBN Road Muster Truck has hit the road in Rockhampton. The trucks can be deployed anywhere in Australia to provide temporary internet connectivity to communities that have been hit by a natural disaster.
The Trucks connect to the internet via a satellite connection, and in turn provide internet connectivity to people who stand within twenty metres or so of the vehicle via a wi-fi hotspot around the vehicle. This means that in an area which has no mobile coverage following a natural disaster, people in the area can come to the truck and get connectivity – for example, to text or email loved ones.
The Trucks also allow people to plug in and charge their mobile phones; they include a built-in mobile repeater designed to boost mobile phone signal strength in areas of poor reception; and they have an LCD screen and loud speakers to communicate crucial information.
Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said telecommunications services are vital during emergencies to keep communities safe, connected and informed, but that no communications network is 100 per cent resilient to natural disasters.
“Telecommunications networks rely on power to keep operating. If a natural disaster hits and the power goes out, it’s possible that you will lose internet access and mobile phone coverage – and the outages may last for days.”
“That is why the Government is funding the $37.1 million Strengthening Telecommunications Against Natural Disasters (STAND) package. This package is funding temporary telecommunications facilities such as five NBN Road Muster trucks; it is also funding additional back-up power for hundreds of mobile base stations around the country so that they can keep operating for up to twelve hours if the mains power goes down”
Federal Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry, inspected one of the trucks in Rockhampton today and said that the crucial investment from the Government will help people in disaster-affected areas to stay connected with family and essential services.
“It’s reassuring to know that communities can have access to internet, phone charging stations and important community updates should a natural disaster occur,” Ms Landry said.
The five trucks will be based in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia so NBN can rapidly deploy them into areas affected by natural disasters.