Telstra’s report into the Warrnambool exchange fire has found the fire was a result of an electrical fault.
The fire, which broke out in November last year, severely damaged 60 per cent of the Telstra exchange in Warrnambool 23 November last year, crippling services for 60,0000 customers in a vast area of the state's west and southwest.
The report (PDF) includes 22 recommendations to help prevent similar incidents in the future and improve Telstra’s speed of recovery in response to similar events.
• significant exchanges in regional Australia be subject to thermal imaging of cabling in ceilings to detect overheating risks
• all significant exchanges in regional Australia to have a disaster recovery plan
• restoration of the Warrnambool exchange to be completed as soon as practicable
• additional offsite back-up of critical and complex configuration data to allow for the quick re-loading of network configurations in the event of trouble
Due to amount of damage done to the exchange by the fire, the exact location of where it began is unknown, but it is likely to have started in the maintenance control room, the report stated.
“This report follows an exhaustive investigation into the fire and its impact on communications and we will put in place a range of physical, process and disaster recovery improvements to minimise the chance of something like this happening again,” Brendon Riley, Telstra’s chief operations officer, said in a statement.
“We can never completely protect against this type of incident but we can learn from it to improve the resilience and robustness of our network across Australia for our customers.”
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