Optus, Telstra Deliver Free Phones as QLD Service Drops

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Telcos are fighting to maintain phone and internet services for QLD customers.
 It’s not only residents who are battling rising flood waters – service carriers in flood stricken Queensland are fighting to maintain ordinary service despite the disaster and are hurriedly protecting their infrastructure.

Generators and transmission towers have all been sandbagged as almost all the main carriers have admitted disruption to communication services.

Energex have also cut power in some areas of Brisbane CBD.

The full costs of repair are yet unknown but are likely to run into tens of millions, say carriers and hundreds of additional technical staff have been deployed to help reconnect services.

 “There’s been good pull-together by the telco and ISP community to help out; we’re helping out a few customers to move mainframes and bits and pieces to wherever we can,”  said Pipe Networks CEO Jason Sinclair. 

Both Optus and Telstra are seeking to keep customers connected, distributing handsets and phone credit, as well as providing victims free public telephones in evacuation centres, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

‘Tens of thousands of people are without services,” a Telstra spokeswoman told the Herald.

 

”As power is restored and access enabled to exchanges and affected properties, this should come down substantially.”

Staff from regional headquarters in Brisbane of both Optus and Telstra have also been evacuated.

Mobile, fixed lines as well as broadband services have also been badly affected by the disaster as calls from fixed-line phones are being diverted to mobiles as families attempt to keep track of their loved ones.

Mobile phone towers would be put onto battery reserves with services completely cut in regional towns including Grantham, Withcott and Murphy’s Creek.

Optus are currently seeking to seal pits and ducts to prevent water from entering the underground network said its director of fixed engineering, Noel Jarrett.

Optus are handing out 1500 handsets with $1000 credit through distribution centres for the Red Cross.

Telstra are also handing out phones and and phone cards through Anglicare.

Three of the Telstra networks were without power on Wednesday.

Vodafone Hutchison Australia, Telstra, Optus and Microsoft have all donated money to the Queensland flood relief appeal.

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