Aussie telcos scramble to repair flood damage

Aussie telcos scramble to repair flood damage

Dylan Bushell-Embling  |   January 12, 2011
Australian operators are still grappling with the damage caused by weeks of flooding in the state of Queensland.
The latest companies to feel the strain include Vodafone Australia, which yesterday lost mobile services in several parts of Queensland including the Brisbane CBD for several hours.
The disruption was caused by flood damage to its exchange facility in Coorparoo, a Vodafone spokesperson said. Services went down at around 10am Queensland time, and were restored as of 1:45.
The equipment damage was the latest in a line of bad news for the operator, which is already facing the prospect of a class-action lawsuit over allegations of poor network quality, and a state investigation into its private data handling practices.
Rival Optus yesterday warned that some of its own mobile sites are at risk of going down due to power outages. The company's mobile towers in one region are running on battery power, and the floods are too extreme to install portable generators, Optus said, making service interruption likely.
Telstra yesterday said some services of its fixed line infrastructure was still damaged in areas that are currently too dangerous to access. This has resulted in ongoing landline and mobile service disruptions in some Queensland communities.
ISPs Internode, iiNet, iPrimus and Exetel have all also reported service interruptions, as has fiber operator Nextgen Networks, the Register said.

Telstra, and others have each promised assistance and compensation packages for customers affected by the flood, including free relocation for those whose houses have been destroyed. Telstra has also offered to match employees' donations to a flood relief fund dollar for dollar up to $500,000 (for a total $1 million donation), while Vodafone Hutchison Australia and subsidiary Crazy John's have pledged $150,000 between them. 

Dylan Bushell-Embling
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