Amateur radio skills prove useful during bushfire emergencies (Australia)

Amateur radio enthusiasts have proved themselves useful during the recent bushfires after traditional telecommunication channels broke down.

Key points:

  • Amateur radio operators in Australia must be licensed with the Australian Communications and Media Authority
  • Licensed volunteers have been providing communications support to emergency services during bushfires
  • They are especially useful when mobile phone reception is down

Amateur radio, also known as ham radio, is a skill and international hobby whereby enthusiasts use specific radio frequencies to communicate with each other.

In Australia, users must complete an exam to obtain a license through the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

It was volunteers with these skills who were called in to assist during the recent New South Wales bushfires.

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