Out in the rain

A bit over a week ago here in Brisbane (where the Opengear R&D team is located), it was a case of déjà vu as ex-cyclone Oswald approached the South-East corner of Queensland. Back in 2011, Brisbane and surrounding areas suffered its worst flooding event in over 100 years. Thousands of homes and businesses were affected, and the whole region ground to a halt.

So when alarms bells started to ring that we may be in for something similar yet again, it became a nervous wait. There was no let up in the rain for 4 days. The storm and rainfall caused damage across the eastern coast of Queensland. Power and communications infrastructure were impacted statewide. The interruptions to power and comms really highlighted how reliant we are on our internet connections and digital media for our information – and how lost we can feel without them.

A section of the motorway in 2011, now has remote monitoring and management

Here’s a section of the motorway at Goodna in 2011, where one of our customers now has remote access via 3G.

It certainly wasn’t the weekend to be out on the roads, so we feel for those guys out there responding to service calls, whether it be for downed power lines, or to reestablish network connections.

Over the course of the wet weekend, I checked in with one of our customers, who had after the 2011 floods, installed a bunch of our cellular enabled ACM5004-G units along a stretch  of highway in cabinets. The cabinets contained critical comms equipment for the highway message displays. During the 2011 floods, the whole area was an inland sea.  The cabinets weren’t adversely affected this time round, but it was comforting to know that our customer could gain access to these sites to check the status of the equipment, and even see live footage of the surrounding area with IP cameras, all over the 3G network. A few less cars on the road, and a few extra people out of harms way.