Aussie Broadband uses clever technology to help customers in bush fire affected areas

November 25th, 2019 - Get new posts sent straight to your inbox, click here. Nicole Clark

Aussie Broadband is using technology to help its customers affected by the horrendous NSW fires.

Software Development Manager, David Barr, wrote some very clever software to match customers’ locations against areas known to have been affected by the fires.

“Aussie Broadband is based in the bush, and many employees, our families and friends have all faced bush fires,” he said.

“I felt I couldn’t do anything to help with the fires directly. So this was one way that I knew I could help.”

The idea was developed after the bush fires in Victoria in February this year. David noticed that the Country Fire Authority (CFA) published data about areas that have been affected by the fires. The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) also publishes similar data.

The maps on both http://emergency.vic.gov.au/ and https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/fire-information/fires-near-me use an open standard called GeoJSON to implement their “burn area” geospatial information.

David wrote a system to retrieve this data from their websites and correlated it to NBN premises inside those burn areas. He then located Aussie Broadband’s own NBN customer premises inside those burn areas.

“It wasn’t difficult to check if any of our customers had lost their internet connectivity. We were able to reach out and offer them credit and other support. It only took a few minutes using the technology to gather the necessary data.”

Aussie Broadband says it wanted to help customers who have had to evacuate their home or who have lost their home due to the fires.

“One of our strongly-held values is be good to people,” said Dave. “We wanted to let our customers facing tough times know that we’re thinking of them, and also that we’re taking action. This technology enables us to do this.”

Aussie Broadband also cancelled scheduled maintenance planned for NSW and Queensland due to the fires.

ENDS

MEDIA PLEASE NOTE: For enquiries please contact Katrina Salhioui on 0448 110 962.