Telcos rebuild in flood aftermath

Telcos rebuild in flood aftermath

Summary: As flood waters begin to recede in many parts of Queensland, the thoughts of many turn towards clean-up, rebuilding and recovery operations, including the state's major telco providers.

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TOPICS: Telcos, Optus, Telstra
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As flood waters begin to recede in many parts of Queensland, the thoughts of many turn towards clean-up, rebuilding and recovery operations, including the state's major telco providers.

Flooded phonebox

(Brisbane floods image by Martin Howard, CC2.0)

While many will be facing the task of cleaning up and rebuilding the state for years to come, telecommunications carriers like Optus, Telstra and Vodafone hope to restore full service within weeks and months.

Telstra aired plans late yesterday for a three-step recovery plan to rebuild and restore full service to the flood-stricken state. The telco has been barred from entering hundreds of its telephone exchanges due to flooding, making damage assessments and rebuilding projects difficult.

Telstra does, however, expect to have immediate short-term services restored with a quick fix within three days; a temporary network restoration for fixed, broadband and mobile within three weeks, with infrastructure rebuilding expected to take three months in total.

Optus issued a statement this morning saying that its service restoration efforts are being assessed as quickly as possible, but won't know the full extent of the damage until technicians can get access to several affected sites.

"We have assembled a senior management recovery team, which is now focused on the recovery effort," said Clare Gill, Optus' general manager for Government and Corporate Affairs.

Gill warned residents today that they should still follow the correct procedures during the clean-up if they plan to do any digging in order to protect existing transmission cables.

"As we enter the rebuild phase we encourage anyone doing below the ground work to follow the 'Dial Before you Dig' procedures by dialling 1100 to ensure that critical infrastructure is protected," Gill said.

Vodafone said that most of its infrastructure had survived the flood waters and it hopes to restore vital service within a week.

"For us it's been a constant battle with the elements to get into affected sites and restore services as soon as possible," said Greg Spears, VHA's head of corporate affairs today.

"I'm not aware of anywhere that's been completely inundated," he added, saying that as a result, Vodafone would not need to undertake a massive infrastructure rebuild.

In the meantime, iTnews reported today that Nextgen Networks is set to attempt a "temporary" fix on the damaged optical fibre link between Sydney and Brisbane.

Topics: Telcos, Optus, Telstra

Luke Hopewell

About Luke Hopewell

A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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