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Wild weather hits telco services in NSW

Power outages caused by wild weather along the New South Wales coast have hit telecommunications services in the state, with areas between Nowra and Taree impacted.
Written by Leon Spencer, Contributor on

Severe weather along Australia's New South Wales coast has seen power failures hit telecommunications services in areas as far afield as Taree, Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong, and Nowra.

"Severe storms in NSW overnight have resulted in widespread power outages, which have significantly impacted Telstra services across the Sydney, Hunter, and Illawarra regions," a spokesperson for Telstra told ZDNet in a statement on Tuesday.

"Currently, more than 17,000 fixed-line services, more than 13,000 ADSL services, a number of 2G, 3G, and 4G mobile sites, as well as BigPond cable and Foxtel services are off the air.

"Our restoration teams are working as quickly as possible to deploy backup generators and emergency battery equipment. As soon as we have more information, we will provide a further update. In the meantime, we thank customers for their patience and understanding," said Telstra.

Fellow telco Vodafone Australia said that the severe weather had impacted a number of its sites along the NSW east coast, with some customers unable to access voice, text or data services.

"We are working to restore services as soon as possible," a Vodafone spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, Australia's second-largest telco Optus said that power outages resulting from storm damage had been causing disruptions to its mobile and fixed-line networks.

"There are disruptions to mobile voice and data services in the Western Sydney suburbs of Bankstown and Punchbowl, as well as the Central Coast and Hunter Valley," a spokesperson told ZDNet in a statement. "Power failures are also causing disruptions to some broadband internet and landline phone services across some parts of Sydney's Northern Beaches.

"Where possible, we have deployed backup generators and are working with local power authorities to restore power as quickly as possible," said Optus. "We apologise for the disruptions to our customers and appreciate their understanding."

The severe weather has reportedly resulted in the deaths of at least three people trapped in their homes amid rising flood waters in the inland town of Dungog, and has seen more than 100 schools closed across the state.

Heavy rain and winds of up to 130 kilometres per hour have reportedly seen power cut to more than 200,000 properties across the state.

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