What is occurring with telecommunications in flood-hit areas of Queensland and NSW

Picture: Dan Peled/Getty Photographs

The jap seaboard of Australia has entered week two of devastating flooding up and down the coast, with energy and telecommunications outages widespread in impacted areas.

The next info from every supplier is meant to be as updated as potential, and will probably be modified after we know extra.


As of midday on Friday, Optus has 38 websites down in Queensland and 26 cellular websites down in New South Wales. The full variety of websites impacted is reducing, and the telco mentioned 55 of the websites are particular person websites. It does have 8 websites on turbines.

The corporate has deployed short-term satellite-powered items (satcat) in Lismore and Ballina, with one other on the best way to Nimbin. These items have a spread of three to 4km and given their placement and native topography, it’s potential that although a satcat is close by, reception might not have improved.


The incumbent telco mentioned on Thursday it has technicians on the bottom in locations the place it might acquire entry.

“Many areas are nonetheless nonetheless inaccessible because of flood waters or are with out energy. We’re working with energy and native authorities to entry the affected areas so we will get to work to deliver providers again on-line,” the corporate mentioned.

“We have now short-term cellular amenities out there that can be utilized in applicable conditions. Our technicians had been capable of set up a short lived satellite tv for pc cellular service in Kilkivan, close to Gympie in Queensland, to ship some protection to the neighborhood after considered one of our cables was washed away.

“Short-term cellular amenities do have the identical limitations of requiring energy and entry to an space as a way to be deployed and we fastidiously and always assess the place and when they can assist.”


On Friday, the corporate accountable for the Nationwide Broadband Community mentioned it has seen the whole variety of premises offline rise to 74,000 in northern NSW, whereas southeast Queensland was trending downward with 33,200 providers offline.

“The place potential, we’re deploying turbines into the area to assist connectivity and can proceed to work with the emergency authorities to deploy extra turbines into areas as waters recede,” the corporate said on Twitter.

Earlier within the week, NBN mentioned 56,000 premises within the NSW Northern Rivers area had been offline because of fibre entry node (FAN) in Woodburn dropping energy.

“This web site had been operating on battery energy, nonetheless the battery has been exhausted. On account of floodwaters it isn’t potential to entry the location safely,” NBN said.

“The positioning is owned and operated by a 3rd get together and we’re working intently with them to revive providers as quickly as it’s protected.”

These hit by the FAN outage prolonged as far north as into Queensland, and included Tweed Heads, Kingscliff, Currumbin Valley, Byron Bay, Brunswick Heads, Ballina, Lennox Head, and Evans Head.

NBN mentioned on Thursday it has 14 turbines on standby for NSW for use as soon as waters recede, and turbines have been put into Caboolture, Barellan Level, Grantham, Munruben, Milton, and Jimboomba.

“We have now a Muster Truck arriving in Skennars Head tomorrow morning from Queensland as that is the one entry we have now into the neighborhood at current,” a spokesperson mentioned on Thursday afternoon.

“We even have Muster Vans on standby, nonetheless entry stays restricted in lots of areas.”

The corporate added it has catastrophe satellite tv for pc dishes put in in any respect locations coated beneath the first round of deployment, which didn’t embody areas in NSW.

When introduced, NBN mentioned it might full the NSW installations throughout 2021, however the spokesperson mentioned it was persevering with to “roll out the second part of installations”. 

“Websites for the installations are nominated by state and territory governments,” a spokesperson advised ZDNet.

“So far there have been 504 providers put in and energetic nationwide. This features a service On line casino Hearth Management Centre in Northern NSW, which is at present impacted by floodwaters. The service is operational. 

“We even have providers put in at Coffs Harbour, Wauchope, and Kempsey.”

NBN additional mentioned it has a Sky Muster truck at Ballina Coast Excessive College, which is offering connectivity to an evacuation centre, in addition to deploying 5 hybrid energy cubes to energy fastened wi-fi towers, and eight turbines.

The corporate added it has been made conscious that scammers are impersonating NBN and asking for cash to hurry up service restoration. 

“It’s unthinkable that scammers would use this as a chance to focus on individuals and communities,” NBN mentioned.

“Please remember NBN won’t ever contact clients asking for fee or every other monetary info and we urge anybody who receives considered one of these calls to report it to Scamwatch instantly.”

TPG Telecom

The corporate behind Vodafone Australia mentioned it’s going through an outage throughout the flood-hit areas because of energy outages, and can deploy short-term energy and community amenities the place out there, and sensible. It had additionally gained funding from the nation’s AU$37 million pot for brand spanking new cell on wheels that may arrive later this 12 months. 

The corporate mentioned in any areas the place its community is unavailable, calls to Triple Zero will divert onto an alternate community. 

Evacuation centres

For individuals in NSW that have to evacuate, the NSW SES maintains an inventory of current evacuation centres.

Queenslanders are informed that they may discover out extra from native radio and TV, emergency cellphone warnings, native councils, and even door knocking from emergency providers.

Up to date at 17:06pm AEDT, 4 March 2022: Extra info from TPG and NBN.

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