Telstra and Optus offer flood-hit customers relief as work restoring services continues

Telstra and Optus have continued work restoring fixed-line and mobile services in flood-affected areas of Queensland and New South Wales, with both carriers offering relief packages for small businesses and consumers impacted by the floods.

Engineers have replaced a damaged fibre optic cable near Kingaroy that was swept away by a landslide, allowing a backup link for landline, mobile and broadband for the South Burnett region of Queensland. A backup link to Darwin is providing additional redundant capacity to the region.

The carrier says while outages resulting from the cable-cut have now been rectified, some services will continue to be affected by localised power outages caused by storms, and will be restored as soon as possible.

Telstra has announced that it is offering relief packages to small businesses and individuals in flood affected areas, with some of the measures including:

  • Cancellation of a Telstra fixed phone service at the affected address, with number reservation for up to 12 months from the date of the natural disaster.
  • Free call diversion from the customer’s Telstra fixed phone service to another Australian fixed or mobile service of their choice, regardless of the carrier. This offer is applicable for a maximum period of six months from the date of the natural disaster.
  • Disconnection of the affected BigPond service without the requirement to pay any applicable early termination charges or fees, as well as an email address reservation for up to 12 months from the date of the natural disaster.
  • Connection of a BigPond service at an alternate residential or business address without any connection charges within a 12 month period beginning from the date of the natural disaster.

“We understand this is a terrible time for anyone who has been affected and hopefully this package will help,” says Telstra Country Wide area general manager Kris Carver.

Telstra customers impacted by the floods are urged to call the carrier to report any fixed lines faults and apply for an assistance package.

Meanwhile, Optus has released a press statement saying that while there are still a limited number of mobile outages across Central and Southeast Queensland due to power and transmission failures, it is restoring services as power resumes.

The carrier has restored mobile services in Bundaberg, Maryborough and Rockhampton through the use of generators, while 3G and 2G mobile and fixed broadband services are available from Rockhampton to Gympie. Mobile and fixed broadband services are also now fully operational in Brisbane.

In NSW, Lauriston, Mullumbimby and Murwillumbah have suffered some disruptions to services, while Lismore, Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Bellingen and Port Macquarie are currently unaffected.

“While the network is performing well across the state, there are still some coverage holes which our technicians are working to repair. We are therefore asking customers to be patient if they are unable to receive coverage,” says Sam Kennedy from Optus Queensland.

“Optus consumer and small business customers impacted by the flood damage can divert their landlines to mobiles for free. We are also shipping extra SIMs, handsets and wireless modems to Optus ‘yes’ stores as a priority – if it’s safe to do so, visit a store in your area.”

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