Perth’s IT community bands together to support bushfire relief

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Perth’s IT community bands together to support bushfire relief
BlazeAid volunteers and Qbit staff

When Secure IT’s Darren Perera heard that internet services were needed at a support camp set up by bushfire relief effort BlazeAid, he reached out to the SMBiT association to see what could be done.

West Perth’s Qbit Computers director Fabio Suffell immediately brainstormed with his team for possible IT solutions to help improve the living conditions for the Brigadoon volunteers’ camp, set up in response to the devastating bushfires that happened late January to early February 2021.

In the middle of a COVID-19 lockdown, a bushfire broke out in Western Australia that burnt through 9,000 hectares of land and destroyed 71 homes.

Qbit account manager Sean Hodnett, who had been evacuated due to the fires himself, noticed that there was strong Node1 coverage in the area. Suffell reached out to NodeOne chief sales officer Sean Clarke and by the following week, a fixed wireless business-grade connection was installed.

The temporary campground and management office hosts volunteers who are helping the families affected by the bushfires. Dongas and caravans are being set up in paddocks and this campground is expected to run for six months while homes are being rebuilt.

“An internet connection of this quality meant that Blaze Aid volunteers would be able to organise the relief effort from the camp efficiently. Let’s also not forget the ability to stream some entertainment at the end of the day for all the hard-working volunteers," said Suffell.

Qbit, a managed IT services provider, supplied a business-grade WiFi network with outdoor access points to distribute Wi-Fi right across the site. 

“Darren from SecureIT, Mornay Bauermeister from New World cabling, Nathan from Wallis Computer Solutions and our Qbit team are so excited to have this quality equipment to install and manage. This is going to make a big difference to the quality of life for the volunteers in this camp, we couldn’t be happier to help” Suffell added.

BlazeAid representative Debbie Buttler said, "the installation of the WIFI at the Brigadoon support camp is essential and most welcomed. We are so appreciative and without this we would not be able to run the camp. We rely on WIFI for administration purposes to run the camp and without it it would not exist."

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