More than 2,500 NBN Co services disrupted in Townsville floods

More than 2,500 NBN Co services disrupted in Townsville floods

Telstra and Optus offer assistance packages

Credit: Dreamstime

NBN Co has confirmed there are currently 2,656 services impacted over the National Broadband Network (NBN) in Townsville as a result of the flood in the area.

In the past nine days, Townsville has seen a year's worth of rainfall according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

More than 11,500 premises in the area have no power according to Ergon energy and as a result of severe weather conditions. Phones and medical alarms connected over the NBN don't work during power black outs, the company said.

"NBN Co’s Emergency Management and Field teams have been working around the clock to manage the impacts of severe flooding in the upper Queensland region to help ensure the least disruption possible to the network," NBN Co said in a statement.

"NBN Co will closely monitor weather conditions and the possible effects of flooding in other areas across the region but reminds residents in the impact zone to have a fully charged mobile phone prepared as a back-up."

Meanwhile, Telstra is offering an assistance package to help customers in the region by giving access to free and interim services during the recovery period.

These include free use of Telstra public payphones, as well as free use of Telstra Air Wi-Fi hotspots in the area and free call diversion.

Telstra has 170 payphones in Townsville with 148 available for the ‘free call’ service as 22 phones were damaged or were off line due to the weather conditions.

“We understand how important it is to reach out to friends and family during these situations and we want to do what we can to help people connect,” said Rachel Cliffe, regional general manager at Telstra.

Telstra has also put together long term measures for customers who have suffered severe damage or loss of their premises.

In 2012, a 20-year contract was signed between Telstra and the Federal Government that sees Telstra receive a fixed payment of $253 million for standard telephone services (STS) and $44 million for payphones.

Out of the total value, $100 million is funded through an annual budget appropriation, with the remainder met by an industry levy. Telstra pays approximately 65 per cent of the total levy, according to a report from the Australian National Audit Office from 2017.

On 4 February, Optus said customers may be experiencing disruptions to mobile call, text and data services due to outages in the area.

Optus said it would, where possible, deploy portable generators to restore services to affected sites. Optus was also offering free call diversion to eligible customers; extend time-frames for bill payments; bill waivers, free suspension, relocation or cancellation of a fixed service; free prepaid credit.

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Tags NBNTesltranbn coTelecommunicationsoptusTownsville


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