Telstra promises to improve exchange

TELSTRA has vowed to make Warrnambool’s communications exchange better than before last week’s fire.

Its board will be briefed on the crisis later this week and chief operations officer Brendon Riley of Sydney visited Warrnambool yesterday with Melbourne-based service delivery executive director  Phill Sporton to inspect the damage and repair work.

They also met Warrnam­bool’s mayor Michael Neoh and chief executive Bruce Anson.

“We are very apologetic to the community,” Mr Riley said. “This was a significant outage with massive impact and we are working hard to get services back as soon as possible. It’s very unusual to have a fire disable an exchange. Outside of floods and bushfires this would be the biggest Telstra exchange outage we have had.

“We’ll investigate what happened and learn as much as we can from it.”

Read the rest of our Telstra blackout coverage here.

He said most copper landlines with basic telephone, fax and EFTPOS links should be working by the end of the week in Warrnambool and surrounding region. Mobile signals in most areas should be at full strength by Friday.

However, it could be several weeks before ADSL internet data lines are restored.

“There have been up to 100 guys there with 60 to 70 on shifts working in very hot, difficult conditions,” Mr Riley said. “They’ve done in a few days projects that would normally take up to six months.”

He said Telstra had also stopped bills being sent out to customers since the outage.

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