New Optus network upgrade to withstand natural disasters

After the devastating Lismore floods, Optus has announced an upgrade to the entire network system in New South Wales Far North region

Twelve months from the unprecedented floods that ravaged Lismore and Ballina, Optus has completed a network transmission upgrade which aims to increase the network resiliency and mobile capacity for local residents, a crucial service in times of disaster.

The upgrade aims to reduce Optus dependency on aggregators, reducing single points of failure and increasing multiple diverse routes to reach the network towers. The upgrade aims to minimise mobile outages in the area and improve customer experience.

Hub sites have also been relocated to higher ground to avoid low-lying flood areas and to accommodate a shorter, more direct path with improved capacity.

Optus and Delta Electronics, under the Eltek brand, have also rolled out Critical Power eXtenders to the community. This backup battery solution aims to ensure transmission mobile sites have power, connection, and can operate for an additional 10 to 20 hours of service if the transmission hubs power grid fails.

The upgrades come as residents remember the 2022 floods and the major issues it caused for mobile connectivity, which made it difficult to access timely and reliable emergency messaging and information on transport and road closures.

Optus Territory General Manager for Northern NSW, Chris Simon said An additional 10 to 20 hours of service aims to give power authorities the critical time they need to restore services or to allow Optus to access a site safely with a portable generator.

As a result of the flooding last year, we were able to identify sites which were fully or partially underwater and which were not. This played a huge role in determining suitable hub sites located on high ground, said Chris.

Were pleased to support the region and this upgrade which aims to see the Transmission network remain online for an extended period of time should the area undergo a similar event in the future.

In the midst of the 2022 floods Optus deployed mobile generators and worked with emergency services to ensure all phones in the region, regardless of their carrier, had access to 000 or 112 emergency calls via the Optus network.

Optus is continuing to innovate and invest in knowledge about network resilience when it comes to its regional network. While this new upgrade to the Lismore network aims to provide a competitive telecommunications alternative for residents and businesses, Optus acknowledges that knowledge about network resilience should be shared across companies to keep all Australians, regardless of their network carrier, safe in case of emergency.

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