Telecommunications are essential during emergencies for communities to request assistance (000) and contact emergency service agencies. In addition, telecommunications enables emergency services to send emergency warnings and to communicate with communities via electronic mediums e.g. Twitter and other social media.
Telecommunications Services Functional Area
The NSW Telco Authority’s Telecommunications Services Functional Area (TELCOFAC) is operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week. TELCOFAC coordinates a comprehensive approach for handling emergencies and incidents through the four phases of emergency management: prevention, preparation, response to and recovery from hazards that impact upon communities.
Established under the State Emergency and Rescue Management Act, the Act ensures that NSW has a robust, effective and flexible system to cope with a range of state wide emergencies.
Importantly, the Functional Area acts as a link between telecommunications carriers and emergency services agencies. In an emergency, it will provide information on hazards to telecommunications carriers and may assist them to access critical infrastructure. This might include arranging NSW Police, NSW State Emergency Service or NSW Rural Fire Service escorts or air transport for telecommunication carriers during a flood or bushfire. Carriers assist TELCOFAC with the deployment of emergency communication services and information on network outages caused by natural hazards.