Community safety boosted with the opening of telecommunications operations centre

Published: 10 Dec 2021

Released by: Customer Service

A new Telecommunications Operations Centre to support critical communications during bushfires or floods has been opened today by the Minister for Digital and Customer Service Victor Dominello.

NSW Telco Authority Managing Director Kylie De Courteney said the Sydney-based centre would give the NSW Telco Authority’s Telecommunications Emergency Management Unit (TEMU) real-time information on potential impacts to telecommunications infrastructure for Emergency Services Organisations.

“The TEMU Operations Centre will help save lives by tracking the likes of severe weather in real -time with the Telco Authority able to update first responders and telecommunication carriers with accurate information on the location of critical infrastructure that might need protecting,” Ms De Courteney said.

“The people of NSW rely on mobile phone coverage to stay up to date during emergencies and protecting equipment such as mobile phone towers and Public Safety Network sites from a fire front or rising flood waters is vital to keeping communities safe and connected during these events.

"This is an important achievement in our commitment to providing emergency services with critical communications capabilities when and where they need it most.”

The Operations Centre is equipped with innovative technology and software, enabling better collaboration between NSW Government agencies and telecommunication carriers which is vital during an emergency event.

The centre will be managed by the Telco Authority’s TEMU team and will be used to monitor, gather information, analyse data and geospatial mapping by utilising the new Joint Intelligence Management System (JIMS). JIMS will enable real-time identification of risks to telecommunications infrastructure within NSW and across neighbouring states.

“Next to Australia's triple zero emergency hotline, the PSN is the most critical communications network in NSW,” Ms De Courteney said.

“It is essential these sites are protected and the NSW Telco Authority is working with telecommunication carriers to ensure their infrastructure is protected during emergencies.

“The JIMS platform allows us to see what is happening and use that information to protect telecommunications infrastructure.”

The Operations Centre provides critical support during an emergency as well as offering facilitation capabilities for long term operations requiring significant coordination between multiple agencies such as the COVID 19 pandemic.

The NSW Government is investing $1.4 billion to expand the PSN to better protect communities representing the biggest investment in critical communications infrastructure by the NSW Government in a generation.

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