Emergency connectivity

RESIDENTS in high bushfire risk areas would have mobile phone coverage for at least 24 hours if power is lost under new legislation introduced to parliament.

Nick Xenophon Team Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie introduced the Private Member’s Bill compelling telecommunications carriers to provide 24-hour standby power in key mobile base stations operating in high risk bushfire areas.

The Telecommunications Amendment (Guaranteeing Mobile Phone Service in Bushfire Zones) Bill would make the Australian Communications and Media Authority responsible for determining and enforcing regulations.

Ms Sharkie said despite modern technological advances, regional communities were more vulnerable to the threat of bushfires.

“More emergency alerts are being pushed out on mobile platforms and more people are using mobile phones to make

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