1 min read

Communications restored – telecoms after Cyclone Gabrielle

This year's NZ Herald Infrastructure Report includes a story I wrote updating the state of communications networks in parts of the country hit by Cyclone Gabrielle:

Infrastructure Report: Communications restored but not back to normal

Voice and data communications links are restored in the parts of the country that took the brunt of Cyclone Gabrielle and the other extreme weather events earlier this year.
People in Hawke’s Bay, Tairawhiti and the Coromandel can make voice calls and use the internet again.
Yet “restored” does not mean networks are back to normal.

Much of the story is based on an interview with Paul Brislen who heads the Telecommunications Carriers Forum or TCF.

Network restoration and a rethink

There's a lot of work needed to get the networks back to where they were before the storms that hit New Zealand earlier this year. More to the point, there needs to be rethink about building in resilience for what looks like a future with regular storms and cyclones.

Low earth orbit satellites have a role to play in building more resilient networks. Yet LEOs are only part of the answer.

In Feburary I wrote Cyclone exposes network weaknesses in the immediate aftermath of the event.

"Cyclone Gabrielle left parts of the North Island without phone and data coverage. While network gaps remain in pockets, the clean up is now well under way and telcos are revisiting their resiliency plans."