Optus network and EmergencyAus – update

Just thought I’d let everyone know that I can now access EmergencyAus via my browser!


It’s in beta but the most important parts work just fine. You can find it at:


No download required as it all runs from within the browser.




This morning’s post:

This is a bushfire danger post so if you’re not from Australia, or not interested, look away now.

Okay, my mobile phone carrier is Virgin. Virgin uses the Optusnet network. If the Optusnet network in a given area goes down, the Virgin mobile phones in that area become useless lumps of plastic and circuitry.

My mobile phone became a useless lump of plastic and circuitry this morning. Not just for a minute or two, but for over 2 hours.

What does this have to do with bushfires? EmergencyAus, that’s what.

The EmergencyAus app on my phone sends me notifications of ANY issues within a 5 km radius of my house in Nth Warrandyte. It is my early warning system. It is the one thing that has given me peace of mind since Black Saturday.

If you stayed to defend your house as I did on that horrible day, you’ll know that reliable information was next to impossible to find. I spent all day listening to ABC radio 774 [the emergency broadcaster] and haunting the CFA website. Some horrific reports did come in from people calling in to 774, but the reality was that no one knew what the hell was going on, including me.

It was the not-knowing that terrified me on Black Saturday, and it was the same sense of isolation that made me as nervous as a wet cat this morning. You see, EmergencyAus can’t work if there is no network connection. It relies on my mobile phone to warn me of danger. No phone, no warning. I do have a landline [thank goodness], but EmergencyAus is a mobile app.

According to the Virgin support person I spoke to, an Optus tower was experiencing an unexpected outage, and as it was the only tower I could link to [? how does that work anyway?] I’d just have to wait until it was repaired.

Waiting was not such a huge issue today because although there is a north wind, the temperature is still fairly low after a wintry night. But imagine if this had happened during a heatwave when temperatures reach 40 C plus? That one tower goes down and I’m…f…in trouble.

I suppose I should be grateful to get a wakeup call before we hit a code red day, but I’m not feeling much like Pollyanna today.

Not Happy, Jan 😦



About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

9 responses to “Optus network and EmergencyAus – update

  • anne54

    It’s appalling that that you can’t get reliable coverage, especially as you are not that far out of a major city. If your life depends on it, it is no wonder you have thrown a wobbly.


  • Scottie

    I do not have your same reason for fearing an outage. My phones and Ipads never seem to go done. However when my computer internet goes down due to some stupid person digging up cables without checking or running off the road into a telephone wire pole, I do get upset. See my interaction with the outer world is my computers, my interaction with people is mostly my computers. I do have a few people I will call but I have issues with using a phone, too many beatings as a kid for daring to answer the phone. I have a wonderful solution which may help you, just in reverse of mine. If my home internet goes down, I can tie either my phone or my pad into my computer and still have internet and the people I love ( such as you ) . The only draw back is Ron keeps a lot of data ability on our phone system, where normally we both together only use less than a gigabyte, he keeps 6 GB on our contract just in case I need it. So maybe you could tie you phone into your computer and that way have access to internet and a way for your phone to access the app information? Or here most app on your phone can be put on your windows ten computer. So you could simply set up the app on your computer. Hope this helps. Be well and happy, you are a very strong person, I admire that. Hugs


  • DawnGillDesigns

    This sounds scary. I had questions (again, 2:45 am!) so looked it up on wiki. I was relieved that Black Saturday was the 2009 fires, and not new ones, but I had forgotten just how truly dreadfully devastating they were. These things get reported over here in the UK, but not hugely.
    Is there no way you ca link your phone into your hone broadband, and that to the larger network via satellite? I remember we had a conversation about the lack of cabled connections, but I wonder if that might be the way to go. Along with some PV cells of course. I’m sure you have all this fully researched, but just in case.
    In other news… Completed episode 1 and looking forward to working my way through the remainder. Thank you, and good luck with the dry season. X

    Liked by 1 person

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