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Flood Update No 9 from Telstra

Telstra News

Posted on January 19, 2011

6 min read

Telstra will deploy Cells on Wheels (portable mobile towers) to Rocklea, Hill End and Fairfield Gardens to improve mobile coverage in these areas.

Telstra’s priority for restoration today focuses on residential faults, restoring flood affected mobile base stations and damaged roadside cabinets.

We want to remind customers that there is still significant damage to Telstra infrastructure, and we still have a very high number of individual service faults, but we are working hard to reduce these.

We are extending our disaster relief package to include the areas of Amberley, Walloon, Marburg, Hatton Vale, Minden, Borallon, Glamorgan Vale, Lowood, Fernvale, Coominya, Mount Tarampa, Kentville, Lake Clarendon, Forest Hill, Blenheim, Mulgowie, and Karalee. The package provides practical assistance for our customers with phone services including free call diversions, and holding of customer phone numbers and email addresses.

General Update:

We have access to more areas, with only 61 ‘red zones. With greater access we have been able to restore more fixed line, mobile, broadband and Foxtel services.

We can advise that the majority of services are likely to be restored over the next week in Brisbane and surrounding areas. It will be some weeks before all repairs are completed and every service is restored. Demand on resources is expected to grow as customers return to their homes and businesses.

Key Areas of Restoration:

Areas of restoration yesterday include Wandoan (landline), Sherwood to Moggill (repaired underwater fibre link), Paddington (repaired roadside cabinet) and Flagstone Creek (cable repair).

Technicians are focusing on areas in Brisbane that have high faults, such as the Jindalee, Bellbowrie, Rocklea and Oxley areas. However, we will have technicians working on high priority work across the City.

We have mobilised 71 technicians into the key areas within Central West (Toowoomba, Lockyer Valley, Gympie, Maryborough, Bundaberg, Rockhampton) to assist with customer restoration in those areas and we plan to move more additional technicians into the Lockyer Valley.

Current Impacts:

Home phone/broadband: Flood affected areas of South East Queensland – particularly along the Brisbane River, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Darling Downs, Sunshine Coast, Wide Bay and Capricornia areas. The main reasons for these service impacts include power-related issues, water damage of electrical equipment and fibre and cable damage.

Mobile services: Mainly Rocklea and some other areas in southern and western suburbs of Brisbane along the Brisbane River. Also, some areas of the CBD and surrounds. The main reason for mobile service impacts are due to loss of power and water damage to electrical equipment.

Further assistance for Queensland small business:

In response to the Brisbane Lord Mayor’s appeal, Telstra and Microsoft, in conjunction with our partner Productiv, are pleased to offer a solution for businesses which have had their email server damaged or destroyed in the floods and need to get their email and collaboration services back online as soon as possible.

The offer is a complimentary subscription to the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) for any flood affected businesses, via our software as a service portal T-Suite, with implementation support offered at no cost by Queensland-based Microsoft Gold Partner, Productiv. The service must be ordered before 28 February 2011 and will be provided at no charge until 31 May 2011.

BPOS is a cloud-based business email and collaboration suite that includes Exchange email, calendaring, contact management, mobile email, file sharing, intranet, mobile collaboration, web meetings, office messaging, and other functions. It is securely hosted and maintained by Microsoft, with regular data back-ups and telephone and internet-based technical support. Most importantly BPOS is available from any internet connected (or mobile internet connected) location, which is especially important for businesses in regional locations, or who need their employees to have access to their email from home while damage to their business premises are repaired.

Businesses which have lost their email services due to the floods can apply for this offer by phoning 13 20 00, by contacting their Telstra Account Executive, or the team at Productiv on 1300 13 66 77.

Assistance for customers:

A disaster assistance package for Telstra residential and small business customers has been announced for customers in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

For more information:

Queensland Media Release: Update to Telstra assistance package for Queensland customers affected by floodwaters and storms

New South Wales Media Release: Telstra assistance package for New South Wales customers affected by floodwaters and storms

Victoria Media Release: Telstra assistance package for Victorian Shire customers affected by floodwaters and storms

Important contact numbers:

  • Residential faults 13 22 03
  • Telstra Business customers: 13 29 99
  • Telstra Enterprise and Government customers: 1800 815 851

Other Information:

  • Telstra has almost 700 staff in the field directly repairing faults.
  • Telstra will be assisted by 30 specialist technicians from New Zealand who arrive today to begin work
  • We have a Triple Three Recovery Plan which outlines three distinct phases aimed at restoring communication services: Immediate short term service: within first three days; Temporary network restoration: within three weeks; Final infrastructure build: three months.
  • We have four times the standard level of individual services faults due to the damage caused by flooding.
  • More than 100 payphones have been switched to free local and STD calls for people without telecommunications – Bundaberg, Chinchilla, Dalby, Emerald, Parkhurst, Wowan, St George, Tent Hill, Ma Ma Creek, Maryborough, Gympie, Mackay, Condamine, Theodore, Brisbane evacuation centres, Gatton and Ipswich.
  • Telstra is promoting the Premier’s Disaster Appeal wherever possible – including on, and We will also promote the Appeal on our payphone screens in all capital city airports.
  • Satellite kits have been distributed to emergency services organisations and some isolated communities. Loan handsets have been provided to many locations outside the designated Evacuation Centres.
  • Communication services also available in Evacuation Centres including temporary internet kiosks with laptops, free loan handsets with SIM cards for use by evacuees, free phone cards, Wireless Gateway for internet access, and the provision of chargers for people to recharge phone handsets.
  • Telstra Stores have additional mobile and fixed phone stock for customers that may need to replace their mobile or fixed home phone handset.

Victorian Update:

We continue to monitor the network closely and can advise that all key exchanges have power, and that mobile phone towers are operating as per normal in flood affected areas.

We have restored a large number of ADSL services and improved the number of landline services that have been affected by the floods.

We will still have customers in the Shires of Corangamite, Central Goldfields, Hepburn, Pyrenees, Northern Grampians, Campaspe, Loddon, Buloke, Yarriambiack, Gannawarra, Ballarat and Horsham that may be experiencing issues with their landline and broadband (ADSL) services. The majority of these issues have been caused by flood damage to small road side cabinets and local cables. We will be undertaking network repairs as soon as we are able to gain safe access.

We are seeing fault levels rise in flood affected areas and we will be fixing these as quickly as possible.

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