Phones congested following London blasts

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Telstra and Optus last night saw phone congestion as Australians struggled to call loved ones in London following yesterday's terror bomb blasts.

Telstra and Optus last night saw phone congestion as Australians struggled to call loved ones in London following yesterday's terror bomb blasts.

Warrick Ponder, a spokesperson for Telstra, said the telco saw a lot more calls than usual to London last night. "It was being met by massive congestion at the London end, so many calls didn't get through last night," he said.

Ponder said Telstra had urged customers last night to try not to repeatedly redial if they don't get through at first. He said the company repeated this message today. "We also understand that the internet has been operating well so people can get messages through via email if they're having difficulty phoning," he said.

An Optus spokeswoman said it had experienced heavy phone traffic to the UK after the London bomb blasts.

"Calls peaked at 50,000 in 15 minutes at about 8pm [AEST] last night and started to subside at 11pm [AEST] last night," she said.

The spokeswoman said traffic was back this morning to the normal rate of about 2200 calls every five minutes.

Optus was also encouraging customers who had problems getting through to London to leave calling for a few minutes or to try emailing, because the email lines were up and running.

Telstra has announced an assistance package for customers affected by yesterday's bomb blasts. Sol Trujillo, Telstra CEO, said the company would offer customer rebates.

Trujillo said Telstra had been assured that its employees in London were safe.

NSW Police have asked worried members of the public not to call 000. "Concerned relatives should instead contact the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade," according to a police statement.

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