How do we reconnect a workforce with those who matter most?
As the sixth largest country in the world, Australia's regional areas can be a barrier to effective business communications, as well as personal ones. This was the problem at a remote Western Australian iron ore mine, where one of Australia's largest mining projects is taking shape.
A barely existent infrastructure for telecommunications made it near impossible for the mine to communicate back to its remote operations centre in Perth. To solve this problem, subcontractors to the infrastructure projects reeached out to Vocus to create a data network and IP Telephony solution.
The mining facility needed a robust network of fibre optic cable, which connected the pit to the port, and then to head office in Perth. Matt Walsh, Vocus General Manager of Service Assurance, said the solution needed to be both flexible and cost-efficient.
“It’s a very remote location and there is limited telco infrastructure available,” he said. “As a result, there’s very little competition. The customers are typically going with the national incumbent and getting a very high charge for their service. Instead, Vocus was able to provide a very competitively priced solution, at a fraction of what would have previously been available.” The difficulties of the location meant a unique solution had to be created, and for this, Vocus had to adapt.
“What usually happens is a hundred people finish a shift and they all go to make a call. With poor infrastructure, it isn’t possible to host them all,”
General Manager of Service Assurance, Vocus
Phone away from home
Not only do various arms of the mining operation need to communicate, but workers need to be able to stay in touch with their friends and families.
Being away from home can have such a negative affect on worker wellbeing, the Government of Western Australia provided $1.7million last year to fund crisis helplines for struggling workers. However, for all the help available, it is pointless if workers cannot gain access to a phone. “What usually happens is a hundred people finish a shift and they all go to make a call. With poor infrastructure, it isn’t possible to host them all,” explained Matt Walsh.
Complicating the situation is the very limited availability of satellite bandwidth in the region. “Our IP-voice solution utilises very little bandwidth and many, many calls can be made at the same time, while still retaining a high-quality audio,” said Mr Walsh. “The client, contractor and the satellite provider were all very pleased with the solution. We are looking to create similar projects with this unique approach in the near future.”
Vocus Products in use
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