Expanded IT capacity was key to quickly restoring power after Larry


Telstra, Cisco helped: With Telstra and Cisco, Ergon quickly
made available additional bandwidth to both locations, building a
network to connect teams of laptop-enabled staff, as well as a voice
over internet protocol system for use on its private network.

Email essential: Access to email was critical for co-ordination
of Ergon’s internal resources and to co-ordinate company requests to
the civilian management authority run by General Peter Cosgrove, as
well as with the Defence personnel who were moved to the region. The
network was also needed to run Ergon’s fault management software.

Call centre capacity augmented: As Cyclone Larry loomed on the
horizon, Ergon had beefed up its call centre capability. It received
about 7000 calls daily in the aftermath – about double the average it
would normally get for a severe storm.

QFRS wireless voice system utilised: To help restore
communications, the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service also
participated in the work, having recently equipped itself with a
wireless voice over internet protocol command system from Cisco. Power
outages and phone system problems are not unusual in a cyclone, and
Queensland Fire Service district inspector Wayne Waltisbuhl says the
mobile VoIP gave it access to portable voice and data services to share
and forward strategic and tactical information for the response.

Tactical information sharing capability: “The portable system
allows fire officers to access and share tactical information such as
incident plans, front-line status reports, maps and weather reports
downloaded from the Bureau of Meteorology,” Waltisbuhl says.

The Australian, 4/4/2006

Source: Erisk Net

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