How can governments, communities, businesses and individuals prepare for a total communications blackout in the 21st century?
This report presents the findings of a research project which assessed the social impact of the Warrnambool exchange fire. The fire occurred on November 22, 2012 and caused a telecommunications outage that lasted for about 20 days. The outage affected about 100,000 people in South West Victoria, a region of Australia covering approximately 67,340 square kilometers.
The social impact of the fire was researched by conducting focus groups, by gathering quantitative and qualitative data, and interviewing people affected. The research project findings call for an understanding of the need for government, communities, business and individuals to be prepared for future “extreme events” which result in telecommunications network failures.
This research was supported by a grant from the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network.