Feeds

Inquiry ordered after phone exchange blaze

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

Boost IT visibility and business value

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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Trying to sell your house? It'd better have KILLER mobile coverage
More NB than transport links to next-gen buyers - study
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Speak your brains on SIGNAL-FREE mobile comms firm here
Is goTenna tech a goer? Time to grill CEO, CTO
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.