Applications open for new $50 million program to boost telco resilience during disasters

Applications are now open for projects that improve the resilience of telecommunications network during natural disasters, particularly in rural, regional, remote and First Nations communities.


The Albanese Government’s new $50 million Telecommunications Disaster Resilience Innovation (TDRI) program will accelerate the development and deployment of new and innovative solutions to address communications issues during natural disasters.


There are two concurrent rounds under the TDRI that are now open for applications:

  • The $30 million Power Resilience Round will fund solutions that reduce the impacts of power outages – the leading cause of telecommunications disruptions during natural disasters. This includes stand-alone off grid power solutions, deployable power supplies, and technology to extend how long backup power gives to telco infrastructure; and

  • The $20 million Innovation Round will fund innovative earlier-stage technologies to improve the resiliency, redundancy and availability of telecommunications during disasters. This includes new or enhanced satellite connectivity – like Low Earth Orbit Satellites (LEOSats) – and new ways to monitor networks and share critical information with emergency services.

Grants are generally available for Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), Mobile Network Infrastructure Providers (MNIPs), NBN Co, or companies with an ABN with relevant expertise or experience.


Reliable communications is vital in emergencies and natural disasters to ensure Australians can contact Triple Zero, receive emergency information, and stay in touch with family and friends.


The TDRI program is part of the Albanese Government’s $1.1 billion Better Connectivity Plan for Regional and Rural Australia. The Plan includes $656 million to improve mobile and broadband connectivity and resilience in rural and regional Australia.


This new program complements work taken by the Albanese Government to boost the resilience of ABC broadcasting towers across Australia through its $20 million Broadcasting Resilience Program, and work to boost the resilience of mobile networks under the $15 million Mobile Network Hardening Program (MNHP).


Applications for both streams of the TDRI program are open until 5:00pm AEDT Friday 20 October 2023.


For more information on the Power Resilience and Innovation Rounds of the TDRI program, please visit:  


Quotes attributable to Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP:


"Access to telecommunications coverage during a natural disaster can be the difference between life and death.

“While no network is ever 100 per cent disaster-proof, the Albanese Government is determined to do what we can to boost the resilience of our telecommunications networks.


“The new Telecommunications Disaster Resilience Innovation program will fund a wide range of innovative local projects across Australia to reduce the likelihood of telco outages during disasters.


“I strongly encourage the sector to engage with communities across the country to develop and submit proposals that will ensure Australians are able to stay connected when they need it most."


Quotes attributable to Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt:


“The announcement is a welcome step forward in protecting Australia’s telecommunications resources in an emergency.


“During natural disasters conditions change rapidly, and being able to send and receive emergency information, and check on family and friends is crucial.


“This is another step in the Albanese Government’s plan to ensure we’re better prepared for disasters, through investments in mitigation and resilience works, upgraded warning systems and more reliable communication systems.”