Before it has even been rolled out in major cities like Melbourne and Sydney, the NBN roll out is in trouble in Queensland, with contractors set to have to relay millions of dollars worth of fibre to homes, affected by the recent cyclone. Ironically the Telstra NextG network stayed up during the Cyclone, with TV networks broadcasting live streaming from Townsville using Wireless technology, not fibreThe problem for the NBN occurred after parts of the Townsville leg of the $36 billion National Broadband Network with most of the new QLD network in for a major rebuild after Cyclone Yasi hit North Queensland Wednesday night. Yasi’s 300km/h winds are thought to have brought down many of the overhead fibre cables used to connect houses in the Townsville area.
The NBN contractor in Townsville, Ergon Energy, has been working on the project since last July to connect 2700 premises, mainly using overhead cables strung from power poles.
According to Comms and Broadband Minister Stephen Conroy, yesterday: “Townsville is almost completely fitted out for the NBN. Just like all infrastructure that gets hit by these events, we’re obviously going to have to deal with that.”
Conroy said the fibre cable was robust “when it comes to dealing with floods”. But with winds, not floods, the main threat in Townsville, he admitted the extent of any damage would not be known until inspectors can be cleared to assess the situation on the ground.