Voda back up, telcos under siege in QLD

Vodafone has restored service to Queensland customers as it and other telcos work feverishly to protect network assets in the flooded areas.

Vodafone has restored service to Queensland customers as it and other telcos work feverishly to protect network assets in the flooded areas.

"Vodafone voice and data services in Brisbane, Ipswich, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and affected rural area, have been fully restored, as of 1:45pm AEST," said Greg Spears, Vodafone-Hutchison Australia's head of corporate communications.

Spears told ZDNet Australia that a network facility at Coorparoo had been affected by flooding, however, staff were working to build a sandbag barrier to keep the water out.

It was that facility which had caused Vodafone services to be interrupted today.

Meanwhile, Optus was working to keep its mobile networks active in Toowoomba, Brisbane and the Lockyer Valley.

Three mobile towers at Helidon, Gatton and Gunters Hill are currently without power. Coverage is being supplemented to the area via additional towers.

Optus users in Brisbane is set to experience some congestion due to the sheer volume of voice and data traffic in the CBD, while Lockyer Valley towers are running on battery power after power was cut to the Mt Stradbroke facility.

"Due to the extreme flooding situation we are unable to access the area to install portable generators," Optus said, adding that a loss of service going into the evening was likely and would continue until the area became accessible to technicians.

Telstra told ZDNet Australia that its NextG network was holding strong thanks to battery back-ups in affected areas and well-prepared exchange technicians.

"Some of our techs have been sandbagging and sleeping overnight at exchanges. St George telephone exchange was even wrapped in plastic to defend it from floodwaters," Telstra said.

Plastic-covered exchange

St George exchange in Queensland, sandbagged and covered in plastic (Credit: Telstra)

Telstra said that evacuations in Brisbane were putting the network under strain, and advised users to only make calls if necessary and to keep them brief.

The telco said, however, that its biggest problem was access to mains power.

"The flooding has caused loss of power to Energex and we need them to power our base stations. Fortunately we've got battery backup so we're not experiencing issues. That could change in eight hours when those run down," Telstra said.

Telstra said it would replace depleted batteries and even install generators if required, but added that the clean-up and repair process could take weeks given that whole townships are still underwater.

Exchange pipes

Technicians used expanding foam to seal pipe exit points(Credit: Telstra)

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh addressed the nation this afternoon and told Brisbane to brace for flood waters higher than the 1974 peak of 6.6 metres by Thursday.

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