Update: 4/1/14

Telstra today announced an assistance package for its residential and small business customers in the Adelaide Hills who have lost services as a result of the current bushfires impacting towns in the Adelaide Hills.

Telstra Country Wide Area General Manager for South Australia South, Mark Bolton, said there has been damage to some Telstra infrastructure due to bushfires. Repairs will be made once field teams gain safe access to sites.

“While our exchanges and mobile sites did not receive direct bushfire damage, we still need to assess our underground cables which can be subject to damage due to intense heat. This being the case, we believe the majority of our services are still operational. Telstra will continue to monitor the impact,” said Mr Bolton.

Mr Bolton encouraged customers to call Telstra on 132 203 (press option 1 and enter their full home phone including area code) to report a fault and register for the assistance package if they have had to evacuate their home or have lost their home.

“We understand this is a terrible time for anyone who has been affected by these bushfires and hopefully this package will help people as they work through this incident,” Mr Bolton said.

“We are also looking to see what we can do to provide assistance at the emergency relief centres, including providing additional mobile phone chargers to help people who may have forgotten theirs while evacuating.”

Telstra’s relief packages can include the following.

Short term measures (for Telstra customers who have a short term impact – temporary evacuation of premises or temporary fault):

  • Free use of Telstra public payphones in the affected area;
  • Free call diversion from an affected fixed home or business phone service to another fixed or mobile service of the customer’s choice, regardless of the carrier; and
  • Customers who use the free call diversion to divert their affected fixed home or business phone to their Telstra mobile service, can also make local and STD® calls on their mobile at fixed line rates, in accordance with their selected HomeLine® or BusinessLine® plan (limited to one designated Telstra mobile per affected household or business).

The above offers are applicable until network damage in the area due to bushfires is repaired, or while customers remain evacuated, for a maximum period of 3 months from the date of the bushfires.

Affected Telstra mobile customers who do not have a Telstra home phone can receive a one off credit to the value of $100 inc. GST (limited to one mobile phone per Telstra mobile account).

Long term measures (for Telstra customers who have suffered severe damage to or loss of their premises):

Fixed services

  • Cancellation of a Telstra fixed phone service at the affected address, with number reservation for up to 12 months from the date of the bushfires
  • Free call diversion from the customer’s Telstra fixed phone service to another Australian fixed or mobile service of their choice, regardless of the carrier. This offer is applicable for a maximum period of 6 months from the date of the bushfires
  • Customers who use the free call diversion service to divert their affected Telstra fixed phone service to their Telstra mobile service, can also make local and STD® calls from that mobile service at fixed line rates, in accordance with their selected HomeLine® or BusinessLine® plan (limited to one designated Telstra mobile diversion per affected Telstra fixed phone account)

In addition, Telstra will apply a one off credit to the value of $500 inc. GST to the customer’s Telstra fixed phone account to help cover the costs of the following, if required:

  • Connection of a Telstra fixed phone service at one temporary residence
  • Re-connection of a Telstra fixed phone service at the customer’s original permanent premises
  • Number reservation
  • Additional call charges

BigPond® services

For Telstra residential and small business customers who do not wish to retain their BigPond service at an affected address:

  • Disconnection of the affected BigPond service without the requirement to pay any applicable early termination charges or fees, as well as an email address reservation for up to 12 months from the date of the bushfires
  • Connection of a BigPond service at an alternate residential or business address without any connection charges within a 12 month period beginning from the date of the bushfires

For Telstra residential and small business customers who wish to retain their BigPond service at a temporary alternate address, Telstra will apply a one off credit to the value of $110 inc. GST to the customer’s account to help cover the costs of the following:

  • Move of a BigPond service to a temporary alternate address
  • Move of a BigPond service back to the customer’s original address

For existing Telstra Mobile Broadband residential and small business customers – free replacement of the modem or USB device if required.

Affected customers should call Telstra on 132 203 (press option 1 and enter their full home phone including area code) to report a fault on their services and/ or to register for the assistance package offers.

Update 9/1/14

We’ve set up a Telstra table with team members available to help with any phone-related concerns you may have following the bushfires throughout the Hills – you can find us at the Kersbrook Football Club all day today (9am–5pm) and tomorrow (9am –11am).

We’ll be able to set up diversions and apply assistance packages, so please come down and see us if you’re in need.

Telstra’s field operatives continue to assess damage to underground networks and are initiating repairs.

Update: 7/1/14

Telstra’s Network Delivery team worked through the night on Monday to connect up a Mobile Cell on Wheels (CoWs) at One Tree Hill, SA early yesterday morning. CoWs are an important part of Telstra’s emergency response and are able to be transported around Australia. This one has been deployed to augment mobile capacity at the CFS Command Centre at One Tree Hill.

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Update: 14/1/14

Over the past week our field crews have scoped the extent of the damage at One Tree Hill, Humbug Scrub and Kersbrook and are now hard at it, restoring customer services in these areas.

The majority of work includes remaking overlays and joints and replacing damaged cable.

Restoration efforts will continue at One Tree Hill, Humbug Scrub and Kersbrook and the team are also scoping out Inglewood and Chain of Ponds.

It’s early days and there is still a lot of work to do. Despite the soot, dust and mud the team are in good spirits and have one goal – to restore service to all our customers as soon as possible.