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Telcos battle Queensland floods

Both Telstra and Optus are responding to communication service outages as the Queensland flood crisis continues.
Written by Spandas Lui, Contributor

Telstra and Optus are both working hard to maintain and restore communication services as flood waters rip through Queensland.

Telstra has reported that on Friday, flooding in Colosseum, Queensland, has damaged one of its major coastal fibre cables that carry communication services through the state.

Telstra has flown a crew by helicopter to repair the damage.

"All restoration efforts will be weather dependant, but the team is in the process of running cable in an attempt to reinstate services," Telstra said in a statement. "If successful, this will not be completed until late Monday afternoon at the earliest."

A back-up cable north of Harlin was also damaged and poor weather conditions have prevented any repair work. Coupled with power outages, most landline and broadband services are down in Mackay, Freshwater, Cairns, Rockhampton, Townsville, Mount Isa, and Gladstone.

The telco's 2G, 3G, and 4G mobile services have also been affected. While communication on mobile services are limited, Telstra still encourages customers to use their mobile phones for emergency situations.

Optus has had better luck with its network coverage during the flooding; it's mobile network is still operational from Rockhampton to Cairns. Mobile and fixed broadband services are still available in major population centres in Central and North Queensland.

But the telco is experiencing scattered mobile network outages across Central and South East Queensland.

"A number of priority sites for restoration have been passed to Energex and Ergon for assistance in restoring power," Optus said in a statement. "Where possible, we have deployed backup generators in accessible locations throughout the flood affected areas to allow us to respond to power outages."

Optus fixed voice and broadband customers in Brisbane and Ipswich may be experiencing service disruptions due to power outages.

Both telcos are using social media as a way to monitor the flood situation, as well as provide updates to customers.

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