Feeds

Inquiry ordered after phone exchange blaze

Fire at Telstra's Warnambool exchange disrupted telecoms, earns government ire

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The Australian government has launched an inquiry into the communications collapse that ensued after a fire engulfed a pivotal Telstra exchange last week.

The fire wiped out communications for a large portion of South Western Victoria at Telstra’s Warrnambool telephone exchange hub, leaving over 60,000 residents without fixed line telecommunications services, including 15,000 online customers and disabling 80 mobile phone towers.

The flow on effect shutdown EFTPOS and ATM terminals, impacting financial institutions, retail operations and transport across the region.

Since the event last Thursday, Telstra has reconnected 35,000 homes and businesses and restored all mobile phone coverage to the area but a significant portion of services remain disconnected.

“I understand the frustration felt by the people and businesses that have been left without a phone and other services,” Minister for Broadband, Communications, and the Digital Economy, Senator Conroy said.

Mobile coverage restoration is a work in progress with 35 of 41 base stations now back online.

Telstra said that technicians have reconnected 57% of landline customers. The carrier has deployed a team of around 50 technicians on site carrying out repairs, “working across two 12 hour shifts to get services restored as quickly as possible.”

In the latest Telstra update on recovery, technicians are still trying to re-establish transmission links in the exchange.

Conroy announced that the inquiry, which will be conducted by his Department, will investigate the cause, extent of damage and what services were affected; receive a report on the fire prevention and mitigation strategies in place and report on the process of restoration of services.

It will also look into the effectiveness of disaster recovery and service continuity planning for telecommunications infrastructure and whether affected businesses also have appropriate continuity plans.

The Department will also hold a public forum on the community impact of this event.

“I want to hear the views of the affected communities and relevant experts to ensure that disaster mitigation and service recovery plans are as effective as possible if similar events were to occur in the future,” Conroy said. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
'Serious flaws in the Vertigan report' says broadband boffin
Report 'fails reality test' , is 'simply wrong' and offers ''convenient' justification for FTTN says Rod Tucker
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts
After Applelocalypse, other wristputers will get stuck in
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.