Meeting with Paul Fletcher, Federal Minister for Communications

Meeting with Paul Fletcher, Federal Minister for Communications

On Tuesday 21st of January, Ashley from URL Networks and myself met with Minister Fletcher and his team to discuss communications throughout and in the aftermath of the bush fires from a local Malua Bay perspective.

We discussed the failure of the network during the bushfire and what we have been doing to get people reconnected since.

We filled the team in on the current state of the network from our perspective.

We discussed what could be done to improve network resilience and communication about outages, effected infrastructure and expected repair times in the future.

We made recommendations on NBN Satellite backup options for businesses be made available. We also recommended Satellite backup and power generators be investigated to be installed on regional mobile phone base towers to maintain mobile communications throughout future disasters. We also recommended mobile phone carriera open up network roaming for all calls during a natural disaster so that if one carriers tower(s) are down, customers can use a nearby tower from another carrier during the emergency period.

Overall, it was a very positive meeting with informative and open-minded discussion.

I am very pleased to see that the Minister went on the very next day to meet with the communications industry to work on improving network resiliency in the future. We hope that much good can come from this disaster.

Regards, Dan