Telstra flags weekend repair work after cable cut kills services

Telstra flags weekend repair work after cable cut kills services

The outages caused by the severed cables, which also affected some wholesale services, began on the morning of 6 June

Credit: Dreamstime

The work being undertaken by Telstra to repair fibre optic cables in suburban Sydney that were accidentally cut by a third party, knocking out some broadband and ADSL services, is expected to continue into the weekend.

The outages caused by the severed cables, which also affected some wholesale services, began on the morning of 6 June, according to data collated by Aussie Outages, a website powered by software called Downdetector, which selects and displays tweets related to network problems.

"We are repairing fibre optic cables cut by a third party, which is impacting several thousand broadband and ADSL services as well as some wholesale services,” a spokesperson for Telstra told ARN on 8 June.

The spokesperson subsequently said that, “there are now just a handful of services impacted, as well as some wholesale services.”

"We apologise for the inconvenience and are doing everything we can to restore remaining services as quickly as possible,” the spokesperson said.

As reported by media outlet ZDNet, Aussie Outages suggested that cable testing identified the fibre damage location as being near a construction site in the Sydney suburbs of St Leonards. 

Telstra expects the repair works to continue into the weekend, with no firm completion time or date identified as at the time of writing.

While tackling the cable cut fallout in Sydney during the week, Telstra also found itself battling issues with its hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) broadband services in Queensland.

“An issue that was impacting some cable broadband (HFC) services in south east Queensland has been rectified and services are being progressively restored,” the spokesperson for the company told ARN on 7 June.

While Telstra has stressed that the service disruptions arising from the cable cut are not a result of a network fault, but rather due to an accident that occurred as part of civil works in the area, the services issues come off the back of a series of network outages suffered by the telco over the past several weeks.

The telco’s 3G and 4G services were hit by network issues on 21 May – the third time in a month the company’s mobile network had run into service snags.

Telstra subsequently revealed that the network issues that hit its 3G and 4G mobile services in the morning on 21 May were caused by a software fault, although the root cause of the fault was still being investigated.

“We have identified that the initial cause of the disruption was a software fault which triggered multiple elements across the network to fail,” a spokesperson for the telco told ARN in a statement at the time. “The network is designed to switch onto standby hardware which it did.

“Following the failover however, a further fault caused an interruption which impacted 4G connections. There is redundancy built into these systems but this did not operate as intended,” the spokesperson said.

On 5 June, meanwhile, Telstra CEO Andrew Penn conceded during an interview with 3AW radio host Neil Mitchell that sabotage cannot be ruled out as a cause of the fire that damaged one of its cables in early May, taking down emergency triple zero call services in the process.

Emergency triple zero call services and mobile Telstra services in at least four states were hit by intermittent “interruptions” early on 4 May after a cable was damaged by fire – at the time thought to be likely caused by a lightning strike – in regional NSW.

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Tags TelstraTelcooutagefibre

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