Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) President Greg Kelly, VK2GPK, says the bushfires in Australia have caused or are expected to cause significant disruption of telecommunication services in the states of Victoria and New South Wales.
“The scope and range of these impacts is unknown at this stage but are predicted to cover all internet and phone (fixed and mobile) and other commercial radio services,” he said. Kelly has asked radio amateurs in International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 3 to monitor the emergency communications frequencies, per the IARU Region 3 band plan, whenever possible, as well as repeaters.
“Amateurs seeking to establish emergency communication should use these EMCOMM frequencies in the first instance, or repeaters if available,” he said in a statement posted on the IARU Region 3 website. “Radio amateurs who are volunteers for [emergency communication organizations] should keep themselves updated. Emergency communication is one of the main reasons radio amateurs have access to RF spectrum. Please assist if and when you can.”
The IARU Region 3 emergency “center of activity” frequencies are 3.600, 7.110, 14.300, 18.160, and 21.360 MHz. These are not net frequencies, but they are recommended as starting points for emergency traffic, and activity may extend 5 kHz above or below the designated center frequency.
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