Issue No 30: 14 October 2020



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Energy and Telecoms Collaborate for Emergency Response

Energy Networks Australia (ENA) and Communications Alliance have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to help further improve collaboration and knowledge sharing between the two sectors to better respond to emergency situations.

Finalised recently, the MOU builds on joint efforts that started between the sectors in May 2020 and is in line with a draft recommendation of the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements for closer cooperation between the industries.

ENA Chief Executive Officer Andrew Dillon and Communications Alliance CEO John Stanton said their members operated critical electricity and telecommunications infrastructure which provided vital services and connectivity during emergency events such as severe weather, bushfires and pandemics.

The MOU sets out to achieve the following objectives:

  • improve the safety of communities by mitigating the risks of being isolated due to telecommunications and/or power outages during emergencies;  
  • improve the sustainability of both telecommunications and power supply services to communities affected by emergencies to support their recovery; and  
  • targets effective collaboration between telecommunications and electricity networks and coordination of infrastructure in preparing for and responding to emergencies at a local, regional and state level. 

Mr Dillon said the agreement provided important guidance for the energy and telecommunications sectors to work more closely together during emergencies and in planning for natural disasters such as bushfires.

Mr Stanton said the MoU would facilitate increased resilience of telecommunications and energy infrastructure and was supported by other steps both sectors were taking to further enhance safety for the Australian community during natural disasters.

Proposed update to the Australian Radiofrequency Spectrum Plan

The ACMA is updating the Australian Radiofrequency Spectrum Plan (ARSP) with changes to international regulations made at the World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 (WRC-19). The ARSP, an essential component in how we use spectrum in Australia, fulfils a number of important roles. These include dividing the spectrum into frequency bands and defining their purposes, providing a basis for management of the radiofrequency spectrum in Australia, informing radiocommunication users about the services allocated to each frequency band, and informing users about the conditions attached to those allocations.

The Communications Alliance Satellite Services Working Group (SSWG) provided a submission to the ACMA supporting the proposed update.

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