NSW Police arrests juvenile over Telstra pit fire

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NSW Police arrests juvenile over Telstra pit fire

Caused extensive cable damage, outages.

A 12-year-old boy has been arrested by NSW Police for lighting a fire in a Telstra pit near Taree, sparking an outage that caused service disruptions for Telstra and iiNet customers over the past few days.

Emergency services were called to a fire at the underground communications pit at 6.30pm on Wednesday.

Police said they soon stablished that the fire, which caused major damage to two fibre-optic cables in the pit, was suspicious. 

Officers late last night arrested a 12-year old boy for lighting the fire.

iiNet said the fire caused connectivity outages between several exchanges in northern NSW.

It was the second outage this week for iiNet customers, after the provider suffered an issue with buggy software for a storage controller that took out webmail. The company's switchboard also went down due to large influx of support calls.

A Telstra spokesperson told iTnews the fire had impacted services in Taree and along the north coast.

The telco's crew had to wait for Fire and Rescue NSW to extinguish the fire and to declare the site safe before repairs could start.

Telstra's repair crew worked overnight Wednesday and all day Thursday to access and repair the damage, the spokesperson said.

Services were fully restored yesterday evening.

The juvenile will be dealt with under the young offenders act, NSW Police said.

NBN, ADSL services go down

Telstra was also struggling with a separate outage on Friday morning, after customers reported being unable to access NBN and ADSL services across the country.

"We’re aware of an incident affecting NBN voice and data and ADSL customersWe are working to restore services ASAP," the telco advised. 

The issues appear to have arisen at around 7:30am and were ongoing at the time of writing.

Telstra has committed to spend $50 million to improve its network following a series of damaging outages in the first half of this year.

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