Greater Local Involvement in Telecommunications Needed

Whether we acknowledge climate change or not, the reality is that extreme weather conditions and natural disasters are frequently disrupting our advanced telecommunications networks and bringing local economies to a standstill.

As society's reliance on communications technologies increases, businesses require back-up systems should the inevitable happen - a network crash.

Over the Australia Day long weekend, Queenslanders experienced a loss of landline and mobile services, and for the first time in over 15 years, Telstra was unable to provide a 000 emergency service.

But is it adequate to leave the back-up of such crucial infrastructure to Telstra alone? What will be different when NBN Co. has its hand on the wheel?

Because the jurisdictions for telecommunications and emergency services overlap, it is clear that  federal control alone is insufficient to deal with emergency telecommunications. I recently argued that there is a key role for state and local governments to be involved. Listen to my comments on ABC Far North Queensland here.