update A cut in Telstra's network link at Ingham in Queensland has left Queenslanders from that town to Cairns without connectivity.
In the wake of Tropical Cyclone Yasi, which tore through Northern Queensland on Wednesday night, Telstra this morning said that communications were cut due to losing mains power to a key link in Ingham, while not being able to keep backup generators running.
"The Ingham link is necessary for us to provide voice and mobile services to our customers north of Ingham to Cairns," Telstra said. "These links normally operate on backup power, but a combination of flooding and emergency services 'red zones' means we are unable to access and repair the issue immediately."
"We continue to monitor our network and work with Emergency Services Queensland and the State Government and we will provide regular updates."
This afternoon, Telstra reported that the link had since been repaired, explaining that data services and media broadcasts would have been affected during the outage but said that voice calls were largely unaffected.
"The problem arose because several telecommunications links in the area were damaged by lightning strikes and flooding," Telstra said. "Additionally, some important transmission equipment lost mains and backup power, and could not be accessed immediately due to a combination of flooding, isolation and exclusion zones imposed by local emergency services."
Yesterday, Telstra said that 450 sites had been impacted as a result of the cyclone. At last report, Optus had 87 base stations affected and Vodafone said late yesterday that some of its services had now been restored.
"Our engineers have been hard at work today assessing sites and restoring services where they have been allowed access," Vodafone said.
"We have been able to restore services in the central Mackay region and some areas in and around Cairns, but there continues to be service outages from Townsville through to Bowen which are due to power outages and transmission link failures."
The telco has advised that 3 Mobile customers in cyclone-affected areas can roam onto the Telstra network as engineers work to restore services in those areas.
Updated at 2:04pm, 4 February 2011: article amended to reflect that Telstra had repaired the broken link.