Telstra, Optus and TPG Telecom will get $10.9 million from the federal government to upgrade a total of 544 mobile base stations under the second round of the mobile network hardening program (MNHP).
Site upgrades approved include expanding battery capacity, adding generators and upgrading power systems, site hardening, and improving transmission redundancy to clusters of sites.
Sites all over the country have been funded, but the government particularly singled out sites in the electorates of Corangamite, Corio, Bendigo and Ballarat in its announcement.
“Successful projects we’ve announced nationally include the installation of permanent power generators, increased battery reserves, transmission resiliency upgrades to protect against network transmission outages and site hardening measures such as protective ember screening to protect sites from potential impacts of embers, radiation or flames”, minister for emergency management Bridget McKenzie said.
“Having access to up-to-date information can genuinely save lives, particularly during a fast moving event like a bushfire, where conditions can change dramatically,” Liberal senator for Victoria Senator Henderson added.
Under the first round of the MNHP, 467 sites were funded for auxiliary backup power supply upgrades.
The stage two round will fund 220 generators, 47 battery system upgrades, 212 battery extension devices, 25 transmission upgrades, and bushfire hardening at 40 sites.