One telephone call or 8000 inconvenienced customers?
Last week a third party accidentally cut some fibre optic cables on the side of High St, Preston Victoria. At the time, I was at our contact centre in Townsville and listened to our agents taking calls from disappointed customers.
We know the third party involved didn’t mean to cut cables but the result was staggering. In all the cut took 20 Next G® base stations, nearly 7000 internet services and nearly 1000 phone lines off the air. It also took down the transmission that is needed to make ATM machines work, and provides the local police station and hospital with access to their data such as criminal and patient records.
By our estimation at least 8000 people were inconvenienced by this cable cut. While we had crews onsite within an hour of the cable cut occurring, and they worked non-stop through the night, it still took over 24 hours for us to get each and every customer’s services back up and running.
What is really disappointing for me about this type of cable cut is that the majority of the time they are preventable. Telstra is a member of the Dial Before You Dig service. For a freecall (charges apply for ringing from a mobile) anyone can request plans of underground services in an area that they need to undertake some excavation or digging. Alternately, you can request plans via Dial Before You Dig website.
I would encourage anyone who is thinking about undertaking digging or excavation work to make sure they contact Dial Before You Dig in the week before they need to do this work . By making one phone call, or spending a few minutes filling out a webform, you could save your entire neighbourhood from being inconvenienced.