Telstra, Vodafone report effects of cyclone Yasi

Telstra says 15,000 landline phones out of service and more than 60 mobile towers without power

Telstra has set about assessing the initial impact of cyclone Yasi on its network and the safety of its staff in North Queensland.

In a blog post, Telstra Operations director, service delivery northern region, John Parkin, wrote the telco had some 200 technicians on the ground and “additional resources on hand” to begin repair and recovery works as soon as it was safe to do so.

According to Parkin early indications suggested about 15,000 landline phones were out of service and more than 60 mobile towers were without service on Telstra’s network.

“Despite this, our mobile network is operating normally in these areas, as many impacted sites have overlapping coverage,” the post reads.

“In addition to network outages, we expect individual service faults to be much higher across the region as people return home and to their businesses.”

Some 450 network sites, which included exchanges, mobile towers, and roadside cabinets, were either without power or operating on back-up power.

Parkin also advised that due to significantly increased traffic on its mobile network customers could encounter issues making and holding mobile calls.

“As a staff safety measure, we have temporarily closed several call centres based in north Queensland,” the post reads.

“As a result, customers may experience some delay in reaching our teams, however, all calls will be diverted and answered by other centres.”

The telco has also advised, via Twitter, that damage has taken a key Telstra site offline cutting inbound and outbound calls to Cairns and wider north Queensland.

Early last night Vodafone also posted an update on the state of its network, with Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) Queensland state manager, Tim Gallagher, stating the telco had been able to restore services in the central Mackay region and some areas in and around Cairns.

However, due to power outages and transmission link failures, there continued to be service outages from Townsville through to Bowen which are.

Gallagher said the telco was offering Yasi-affected customers extended payment periods, mobile handset and mobile modem loans and other financial assistance on a case by case basis.

Yesterday the extent of the damage to the federal government's National Broadband Network (NBN) infrastructure from cyclone Yasi is not yet known, according to communications minister, Senator Stephen Conroy.

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