Optus/CSIRO study on resilient telco facilities bears fruit

A joint project to make critical telecommunications more bushfire resilient has led to a start on upgrades for two sites in regional Victoria.

The upgrades follow a joint CSIRO/Optus research project analysing where there is risk of damage to the network and where upgrades could reduce their vulnerability to future bushfire events.

Optus is now implementing the finding at its Seville East and Dixons Creek sites as reference examples for a larger, longer-term resiliency program expected to help other infrastructure owners understand the learnings.

CSIRO and Optus began collaborating in mid-2020 on the study into the potential impacts of embers, radiation, and flame on and around Optus’s telecommunications equipment sites.

Optus Managing Director Network Lambo Kanagaratnam said the work with CSIRO “has provided  the analysis to allow us to target the best ways to protect the network where it could be most vulnerable”.

The company has also started training its contractors to improve future design and builds, or to call out existing site concerns.