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When disaster strikes, Telstra sends in the TECKs


Posted on February 3, 2010

2 min read

Australia is a land of extremes. Summer means bushfires in the South and cyclones, storms and floods in the north of the country. The effect on our communities when Mother Nature unleashes cyclones, storms, flooding and fires can be nothing short of devastating. 

Having managed the field workforce in Queensland and Northern NSW for the last seven years, I have come to appreciate the forces of nature and the role communications play in the aftermath.

The biggest lesson I have ever learned is that the ability to communicate is never more critical than in times of tragedy.

It is here where Telstra plays its role in responding to disasters.

Every time we respond to a natural disaster we learn from the experience so that we can do it even better the next time.

For example, after the Black Saturday bushfires Telstra developed new technologies to help connect communities and emergency services agencies faster.

The first were the MEOW (mobile exchange on wheels) and COW (cell on wheels) technologies developed for quick deployment to provide temporary mobile, landline and broadband services to communities impacted by natural disasters.

The most recent addition is the Telstra Emergency Communications Kits (TECKs). These specially designed kits are small, portable wireless communications units providing voice, data and broadband services to disaster-affected communities over Telstra’s Next G™ network.

The new TECKs provide local emergency services rapid and reliable communications until normal services have been restored. The ability to communicate means that these organisations can get back to doing what they do best. The mobility of the W25 unit and the fact it is pre-activated (ready to go) allows us to offer services in areas where a fixed-line solution would simply not be possible.

In natural disasters an immediate requirement of most emergency service groups is comms, comms and comms. Combining the W25 and our field workforce gives Telstra the ability to better support these emergency groups and local communities in times of their greatest need.