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Remote mine employees feel closer to home with APN Public WiFi

CASE STUDY MEDIA 31 January 2021

A new public WiFi solution at Portia Gold Mine is helping to reduce isolation and keep staff in touch with family and friends while at the remote South Australian mine camp.

The Challenge

Employees at Portia Mine's remote South Australian gold mine, 120 kilometres northwest of Broken Hill, usually spend weeks away from their families and have little to occupy their downtime.

Until recently, their employees relied on intermittent Telstra mobile coverage which was only accessible in certain areas.

The APN Solution

The mine camp is now equipped with three next-generation nbn™ satellite broadband connections to run a proven, robust public WiFi service. The communications box runs off mains power, and three nbn™ satellite dishes. The WiFi solution took just two days for APN's team to complete.

The public WiFi service currently provides the community of 80 Portia employees with up to 450GB of data per month, funded by mine operator Consolidated Mining & Civil.

Access to reliable internet coverage connects Portia Mine staff to home and family as well as essential services such as government agencies, health professionals and education institutions.

The Result

Portia Mines and its employees immediately benefited from the WiFi service.

"Providing access to reliable WiFi has proved a powerful tool in improving the happiness and wellbeing of our employees. Social media in particular keeps those isolated by distance connected to their families, friends and the world. Employees these days view the internet as a basic condition of work and the improvements recently on site reflect that with an increased ease of recrui™ent and staff retention. This ultimately delivers our business benefits, and for us the long-term return on inves™ent is substantial." - Charisse Jones, Executive Manager, Consolidated Mining & Civil

What's Next?

Australian Private Networks is now working with Portia Mines to ensure the WiFi service is evenly distributed through a mix of employer-funded and Pay As You Go services for workers.

This solution can also support local Indigenous communities near the mine by extending the public WiFi coverage area.

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