Mobile phone reception will stay available for longer in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland if the power goes out during or after natural disasters, thanks to a major new investment by the Morrison Government.
Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace said that the Government is funding Telstra to extend the battery back up at the mobile phone tower on Maleny-Kenilworth Road between Conondale and Kenilworth, to provide a minimum of 12 hours of back-up power.
“The Australian Communications and Media Authority’s report into the impact of the 2019-20 summer bushfires on telecommunications networks found that 88 per cent of outages were caused by power outages rather than direct fire damage. Extending the battery life of this remote mobile phone tower will increase telecommunications resilience in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.” Mr Wallace said.
“The Morrison Government is investing in battery back-up to keep mobile phone towers operating longer when the power goes out during or after natural disasters, and this includes in the more remote areas of our community.” he said.
“We are committed to improving mobile phone reception throughout the Hinterland, whatever the circumstances, and this new facility comes in addition to funding we have provided for new mobile towers near Peachester, Glass House Mountains, Beerwah and Conondale.” he said.
Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said telecommunications, including mobile phone towers, need reliable power sources to operate.
“Telecommunications – including mobile phone towers – rely on power to operate. This investment will allow mobile phone towers to keep operating for at least 12 hours after the power goes out, making a real difference for communities during and after a natural disaster,” Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP said.
The Government is providing a total of $13.2 million to Telstra, Optus and TPG to extend the battery back up at 467 mobile phone towers across Australia, under stage one of the program. The Program is part of the $37.1m Strengthening Telecommunications Against Natural Disasters (STAND) package, which Minister Fletcher announced on 12 May 2020.
More information on the program is available on the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications website.