Telstra to implement $15 million bushfire alert system

Telstra beats Optus for the contract to warn communites of bushfires and emergencies

Telstra has landed a $15 million contract from the Federal Government to create new telephony-based warning system that will alert residents and communities of bushfires using SMS and recorded voice messages.

The Federal Government announced last week that the proposed National Emergency Warning System (NEWS) will be implemented and governed by Telstra, which was in competition with Optus for the contract.

The Victorian Police and Emergency Services Minister Bob Cameron said that after a rigorous tender process, Telstra would build and deliver a fixed and mobile phone National Emergency Warning System (NEWS).

The notifications will extend to land lines as recorded messages and mobile phones as SMS text messages. The National Emergency Warning System will be able to send a minimum of 100,000 messages at one time.

“The built system will be completed by the end of October, with comprehensive testing to take place throughout November,” Cameron said.

“This system will provide emergency service authorities with another way to warn communities in the event of an emergency.”

The NSW Minister for Emergency Services Steve Wahn has been reported saying that recent fires on the far south coast of NSW point to a difficult bushfire season ahead. He has said that all residents need to be prepared for the summer season and potential emergencies.

NEWS is going to be implemented in all States across Australia, except for Western Australia who will implement its own system.

Telstra Chief Executive Officer David Thodey said that Telstra was well placed to develop and build this crucial system that will assist communities in the event of an emergency.

"Telstra is extremely proud that our technology will be used to assist emergency service organisations by delivering warnings to communities through the telephone system," he said.

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