‘Hardening’ mobile networks to bushfires
BRIGHT will benefit from a program by Optus to make its mobile network less susceptible to damage from bushfires.
The 2019-2020 bushfire season impacted power, telecommunications and other critical infrastructure throughout the greater Victorian Alpine region.
Optus is actively pursuing ways to ‘harden’ its network to bushfires, making them more resilient during emergencies, when customers need to be connected.
Since mid-2020, CSIRO and Optus have collaborated on a study of the potential impacts of embers, radiation and flame on and around Optus’ sites with telecommunications equipment.
The findings will be used to assess which sites are at highest risk.
The program of work will then rollout across an initial tranche of around 40 sites in Victoria, including sites in and around Bright, Wangaratta, and Warragul.
“Optus continuously aims to improve our network’s resilience as we know communities rely heavily on our services, especially during natural disasters and extreme weather events,” said Lambo Kanagaratnam, Optus managing director of network.
“Our collaboration with CSIRO has provided us with the analysis to allow us to target the best ways to protect the network where it could be most vulnerable.”
Information on topography, fuel load, vegetation type and bushfire weather severity in each location will be used to develop maps which then inform how to make the infrastructure more resilient.