Telstra, Optus, Vodafone assess Yasi damage

 

Mains power cuts cause problems.

Telstra, Optus and Vodafone have reported network outages in areas impacted by Tropical Cyclone Yasi as engineers move in to assess the damage caused by the category five storm.

A Telstra spokesman said that "early indications" suggested about 60 mobile towers and 15,000 fixed phones were completely without service.

Another 450 Telstra network sites - such as towers, exchanges and roadside cabinets - were affected by mains power cuts.

"Without the restoration of local power we expect to see a significant increase in impact to land line phones," the spokesman said.

"These sites are operating on back-up power at this stage. Our crews will work hard to keep these sites powered, but there will be some sites we cannot access due to safety reasons like damaged power lines and debris blocking access."

Vodafone said that services between Cairns and Bowen and the area around central Mackay were affected by power outages and transmission link failures.

"Where access is available we have dispatched teams of engineers to affected areas," a Vodafone spokesman said on its blog.

"They have back-up generators, fuel and other network equipment to hand and they will start to assess damage to individual sites and restore services as quickly as they can."

An Optus spokesman said that 87 base stations were directly affected by the cyclone and that an undisclosed number of others were running on back-up batteries due to loss of power.

"The Optus Reef Network which provides transmission for voice and data services between Brisbane and Cairns is currently operational on back up batteries," the spokesman also said.

"Optus' alternative redundancy transmission route to the area is unaffected."

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