The "Mass Service Disruption" temporarily exempts the company from provisions in the Telecommunications Act that force the telco to guarantee a certain level of service. The floods have mostly affected normal fixed-line telephone services -- however, Telstra will not say just how severe outages caused by the floods are or how many customers are affected, claiming it's too early to tell exactly how severe any damage is. The company would only describe the outages as "substantial". The company will put all available technical staff on overtime over the weekend and has called in every available contractor to help to restore services to affected customers.
"We've got all staff available working on maximum over time on Saturday and Sunday," a spokeswoman said.
The application for a Mass Service Disruption exemption from the company's obligations under the Telecommunications (Customer Service Guarantee) Standard is not rare, the spokeswoman added. "When we are faced with conditions that are outside our control... we apply for exemptions through a mass service disruption... It's not out of the ordinary," she explained.