Further Information Update: Telstra Exchange Fire In Warrnambool

Media Release, 26 November 2012

This is the latest update on Telstra’s efforts to restore communication services in south-western Victoria following Thursday’s fire that partially destroyed Telstra’s Warrnambool exchange and impacted customer landline, broadband, mobile and radio services across the region.  

Mobile service has now been restored to more than 80 per cent of the impacted area with overnight work restoring mobile base stations coverage in Warrnambool East, Warrnambool North, Timboon and Allansford through the use of satellite technology.

Overnight we were successful in restoring internet and data services for 91 large business customers in the area, including a number of banks, medical, utility, government and transport customers.

Services have been restored to payphones, 250 medical priority assistance customers, essential services, and over 450 other priority lines such as retirement homes and schools through connection to two Mobile Exchanges on Wheels (MEOW).

A third MEOW is being sent from Queensland and is expected to arrive in Warrnambool early tomorrow morning.

The township of Balmoral has all communications services restored, after Telstra was successful in re-routing these services from the Warrnambool exchange to the South Melbourne Exchange. Telstra will continue to work on re-routing other townships’ service to other large exchanges this morning, and hopes to advise of more townships back on air this afternoon.

Efforts to restore all services in the region are ongoing with a team of more than 50 technicians on site carrying out repairs. Technicians are working across two 12 hour shifts to get services restored as quickly as possible.

Today technicians remain focused on restoring transmission cabling and replacing equipment which carries landline telephone services. Work will also be undertaken to restore coverage to customers in a number of townships by re-routing services through other exchanges.

We apologise for the inconvenience to our customers. We are doing everything we can to get them connected as soon as possible.