The Senate has announced an inquiry into the capacity of communication networks and emergency warning systems to deal with emergencies and natural disasters.
The scope of the inquiry was wide but could shape the future role of the National Broadband Network in this area.
It would also look at "new and emerging technologies including digital spectrum that could improve preparations for, responses to and recovery from, an emergency or natural disaster".
South Australian Liberal Senator Mary Jo Fisher successfully moved to have the issue investigated by the Senate Standing Committees on Environment and Communications.
It was borne out of a series of disasters in recent years such as the Queensland floods and Victorian bushfires.
Public submissions were being accepted until 21 April 2011. A report was due to be handed down by early November.