Members of the Telecommunications Carriers Forum are considering a satellite contingency plan following the two earthquakes in Canterbury.
In the TCF annual report, a special feature outlines the telco response to the earthquakes in September and February. It includes a list of issues the telecommunications industry is considering should future disasters occur. These include:
a satellite contingency plan for businesses that are reliant on broadband;
investing in additional core network infrastructure;
power-supply backup batteries and generators;
the need for the country to be prepared by investigating re-routing business through another centre.
"Overall, the earthquakes have shown that the telecommunications industry is prepared to deal with significant disasters, but we can still learn from the two major Canterbury earthquakes," the report states.
Meanwhile, membership fees at the TCF have increased, particularly for the tier one telcos, according to its statement of financial performance. In the year ending March 2011 Tier one members (Telecom, Vodafone and TelstraClear) paid a combined total of $751,283 compared to $581,426 in the previous year.
TCF is structured so that the tier one members pay the bulk of its operating costs, with the remaining 10 percent of costs are covered by the other members. In return tier one members each get a seat on the TCF board, while two members represent the tier two and tier three providers.
The TCF's primary purpose is for its members to collaborate on industry codes of practise created by working parties. These provide the basis for industry self-regulation. The most expensive working party in the financial year was UFB, which cost $114,870 to administer.
A list of TCF members can be found here.