Albanese Government opens consultation on design of essential communications resilience program
The Albanese Government is delivering on its commitment to improve the resilience of communications services across regional, rural and remote Australia, with consultation now open on the draft guidelines for Round 2 of the $15 million Mobile Network Hardening Program (MHNP)
The Program aims to reduce the risks of service outages and improve restoration times during natural disasters in impacted communities by funding projects like portable generators, power back-up upgrades and physical tower hardening. Its design will be informed by feedback from regional Australians, community groups and the telco industry to ensure the final guidelines meet the needs of communities at-risk of natural disasters.
Funding for further rounds of the MHNP was confirmed in the October 2022–23 Federal Budget as part of the Albanese Government’s $1.1 billion Better Connectivity Plan for Regional and Rural Australia.
In total, the Albanese Government is investing $2.2 billion in regional communications – the most significant investment in this critical area since the inception of the National Broadband Network.
Round 1 of the MNHP funded approximately 1,000 projects nationwide – with 461 already complete.
For more information on the Albanese Government’s Better Connectivity Plan, visit infrastructure.gov.au/bcp
For more information on the Mobile Network Hardening Program, visit www.infrastructure.gov.au/media-communications-arts/phone/mobile-network-hardening-program
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP:
“Australians deserve world class connectivity, no matter where they live or work. In times of crisis, access to reliable connectivity can literally be a matter of life and death.
“While no telecommunications network can ever be 100 per cent disaster-proof, the Albanese Government is determined to reduce the risk of communications outages during natural disasters.
“Round 2 of the Mobile Network Hardening Program delivers on our commitment to substantially improve the resilience of our communications networks.
“I strongly encourage regional Australians, community groups and the telco industry to have their say on these draft guidelines to ensure the MNHP delivers the resilience measures at-risk communities need."