Telecom outages continue after Queensland cyclone

Some services restored but "still a lot of work to be completed", says Telstra

Tropical Cyclone Lam in the Arafura Sea and Tropical Cyclone Marcia off the east coast of Queensland on 19 February 2015. Credit: NOAA Satellites via [[xref:|Flickr|Image: Typhoons Lam and Marcia Head Onshore in Australia]]

Tropical Cyclone Lam in the Arafura Sea and Tropical Cyclone Marcia off the east coast of Queensland on 19 February 2015. Credit: NOAA Satellites via [[xref:|Flickr|Image: Typhoons Lam and Marcia Head Onshore in Australia]]

Telstra and Optus are scrambling to restore services in Queensland after Tropical Cyclone Marcia hit the state’s north coast on Friday morning, damaging properties and leaving many areas without power.

Computerworld Australia has reached out to Vodafone and will update this article as necessary.


Telstra has made progress restoring services after the cyclone but work continues, as of 9 am, according to a Telstra spokesperson.

While not all customers experienced outages, the cyclone had an impact on Telstra’s fixed line PSTN, ADSL, 2G/3G and 4G mobile coverage, Digital Office Technology (DOT) services, ISDN, Business Data Services (BDSL) and multiple wholesale services.

“The loss of these services impacted both residential and business customers", a Telstra spokesperson said.

“The vast majority of services were affected by loss of AC mains power which is currently affecting 107 sites, although 36 sites are operating on back-up generators and 12 sites are operating on battery emergency power supply.”

The telco has also announced an assistance package to residential and small business customers in Yeppoon, Rockhampton, Biloela, Jambin, Goovigen, Moura, Dululu, Theodore, Westwood, Wowan and surrounding areas in the Banana Shire, who have lost services as a result of the cyclone.

“Overnight, additional services have been restored however there is still a lot of work to be completed,” said the Telstra spokesperon. “The loss of power and restricted access to some network sites still remain as the key issues preventing the restoration of services.”

“Our teams will resume work this morning to repairs faults and support our network sites that are still without power. This work will be done where it is safe to do so.”


Power failures caused disruptions to Optus mobile sites in Rockhampton, Yeppoon, Double Island Point, Mt Hopeful, Mt Larcom, Mackay, South Brisbane and Russell Island during and immediately following the storm, an Optus spokesperson said.

“Optus engineers have been closely monitoring the network to minimise impacts on our customers and to restore services as quickly as possible. We are working closely with the relevant authorities to enable quick and safe access to restricted areas. Where possible, Optus is responding to power outages by deploying back-up generators. Optus has also deployed a satellite cell into affected areas to expand services.”

As of 12 p.m., Optus reported there is no Optus mobile service at Mt Hopeful. The telco has installed a back-up generator and is investigating a transmission issue disrupting service, it said.

Continuing power outages in Yeppoon are affecting mobile, fixed landline and broadband services, it said. Optus installed a portable satellite cell on Sunday morning and 2G/3G services are now operational in most of Yeppoon, it said.

Optus mobile services are fully restored in Mt Larcom, Mackay, Double Island Point and South Brisbane. Most mobile, fixed landline and broadband services across Rockhampton are restored. There are still some disruptions to mobile coverage in Frenchville and Russell Island.

Adam Bender covers telco and enterprise tech issues for Computerworld and is the author of dystopian sci-fi novels We, The Watched and Divided We Fall. Follow him on Twitter: @WatchAdam

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU, or take part in the Computerworld conversation on LinkedIn: Computerworld Australia

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