Telstra, Optus count the cost of cyclone Yasi

Telcos have 'a big job' ahead of them

Telstra and Optus are counting the cost of damage to their infrastructure in the wake of cyclone Yasi, with Telstra having stated that hundreds of network sites have been affected, while Optus stated the impact was localised.

In an email from Telstra, the telco said its first priority was to confirm the safety of its team while counting the cost of the damage.

“Early indications suggest that around 5000 fixed phones are currently not operating and around 25 mobile towers are without service on the network,” the statement read. “We expect individual service faults to be much higher across the region.”

Some 450 Telstra network sites have been affected by a lack of mains power, with 200 technicians currently in the affected areas.

“We have a big job ahead of us," the statement read. "We have more than 200 technicians on the ground ready to repair and restore the network in the region.”

Optus released a statement which said the impact of the cyclone had affected its mobile and fixed networks, with 52 Optus open mobile network base stations being affected, and its voice and data services running on backup power supply.

“The Optus Reef Network which provides transmission for voice and data services between Brisbane and Cairns is currently operational on backup batteries,” the statement said “Optus’ alternative redundancy transmission route to the area is unaffected.”

The telco is working with both emergency services in the region as well as Ergon Energy to “connect generators to recharge batteries and provide continuity of service to mobile infrastructure”.

The news comes as both telcos yesterday said they were hopeful that the impact of the cyclone would be minimal, and follows news of Vodafone services being ‘seriously affected’ by the cyclone.

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