Wujal Wujal Emergency Management Wireless Network
The Wujal Wujal Emergency Management Network is the contingency that allows communication within Wujal Wujal even if the Telstra and/or Ergon power supply fails. It does not set out to take the place of State Emergency Services communication systems.
The principal purpose of the network is to provide emergency management communication between the users of the network including Council, Community, Police, Health and Emergency Services prior, during and immediately following an emergency event. It is intended for communication between Council, local residents and visitors when and if normal telecommunications are compromised.
The Wujal Wujal Emergency Management Network operates independent from the Telstra land or 3G mobile system; it is designed to service ‘local’ only.
Connection to the network can be completed using a variety of Wi-Fi equipped devices. These include most commonly smartphones and tablets (Android based or Apple), and laptop or desktop computers fit with a wireless network card.
The network turns the valley into a ‘hot spot’ enabling community members (and visitors) within the township including the residences on the South Side of the Bloomfield River to communicate on a Council managed private and secure network. Users can also chat on forum style communication pages with operation similar to Facebook Messenger.
Redundancy to ensure network operation has been thoroughly considered. The network is setup so that failure of an individual Access Point, or one of the microwave links will not cease operations. The system automatically adjusts to allow continued operation. Operation in excess of 24 hours after the loss of mains power is supported by uninterrupted power supplies, battery and solar systems.
Devices including smartphones, tablets, VoIP hardware phones or personal computers adhering to the SIP communication standards are supported by the network. Applications will allow users to make local calls (voice or video) through the wireless data connection. Later in this document we have recommended communication applications, some of which have a subscription fee, while others are free to download and use.
The network is setup to operate parallel to Council’s existing server and network infrastructure, protected from external or unauthorised intrusion through as series of encryption devices and protocols. WARNING - Individual users of the network must treat their devices as if they are on a public network and take an appropriate security posture.
Community members and visitors will have access to restricted nominated websites through the network. This will include Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), the Department of Transport and Main Roads, Ergon Energy and other Council-approved websites (access to all other websites is not possible). For a full list of Council approved websites visit the Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire Council website.
Initially only a limited number of authorised members of Council and staff will have access to the world wide web through the network. In future additional members of Council and possibly members of the community may also be given the appropriate permissions to ‘connect’ to the internet through the network with limited amount of data so as to not compromise the utility of the SkyMuster services.
Image credit: Darren Clark