Townsville tornado rips through NBN infrastructure

High wind and debris damaged cables and caused services to shift to battery backup

NBN Co’s Townsville first release sites for the National Broadband Network (NBN) suffered severe damage last week after a mini tornado hit the area.

“As a result of the high winds and debris, a number of lines from the pole to homes were impacted. There were instances of cables damaged and lying on the road,” an NBN Co spokesperson told Computerworld Australia.

“NBN Co field staff were on site conducting an assessment of the damage soon after the storm abated.”

The storm, which occurred on the morning of 20 March, also resulted in a power outage causing services to shift to battery backup.

“While the core network remained in continual operation, there were 10 end user devices impacted by storm damage to lines requiring repair. “

“NBN Co restoration activities are ongoing, with onsite works continuing in conjunction with Access Seekers and Utility provider.”

The company estimates the repairs to be completed by 30 March.

The spokesperson would not be drawn on whether NBN Co infrastructure could withstand harsh weather conditions, but said this particular release site was constructed before the wholesaler had finalised its deal with Telstra which enables access to the telco’s underground infrastructure.

NBN Co also awarded a $300 million construction and maintenance contract to Visionstream Australia for the fibre network’s rollout in Tasmania.

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