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Mobile Networks Causing Problems For NSW Fire & Rescue Services

As catastrophic fires burn across NSW It’s carrier network infrastructure that’s failing rural Australians who can’t get a signal to save their lives claim observers.

Stuart Ellis, chief executive of the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council has compared conditions to that of Black Saturday 2009 in Victoria.

SW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said that there are areas where communications are “limited or even non-existent”. The RFS has to resort to ‘portable (reception) cells on wheels’, however with the bushfires continually shifting and changing, the firefighters are unable to position them correctly he added.

‘We’re talking about schools being destroyed; we’re talking about community halls, bridges, power poles.’

While the Mobile Black Spot programs have been in effect around the country for years now, Optus VP of Regulatory and Public Affairs Andrew Sheridan said, ‘there is a genuine need for improved telecommunications services’.

What’s more, according to Deputy Premier John Barilaro, ‘it’s dangerous, leaving people in the regional and remote areas without a lifeline — literally.’

It comes as German telecommunication companies forge alliances ‘to combat dead spots and increase mobile communications coverage even in areas where it is not profitable.’

As reported by Telecoms.com, Vodafone Deutschland, Deutsche Telekom and Telefónica Deutschland will be joining forces to improve cellular infrastructure in rural areas, in an alliance that will see each business deliver an equal number of cell sites.

‘Mobile communications will be the most important technology in the coming decade. And we are pooling our resources to put Germany in an ideal position,’ said Markus Haas, CEO of Telefónica Deutschland.

While Deputy PM Michael McCormack recklessly blames supposed ‘raving inner-city lunatics’ for scientifically supported climate change protests, German telcos are promoting collaboration, while rural residents are having to rely on radio warnings as network connectivity continues to fail.

The NSW RFS is urging rural residents to download the Fires Near Me NSW mobile app, available on both iOS and Android, however, if cellular networks are down, and a 4G signal, let alone a 3G signal cannot be obtained, what use is it in the face of catastrophe?

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