TELSTRA mobile phone users in Warrnambool were given an early Christmas bonus yesterday when a more powerful 3G service was switched on from a tower at the central exchange.
The equipment installed this week by technicians working on the mammoth repair effort at the fire-damaged exchange will give 60 per cent extra capacity, Telstra regional manager Bill Mundy told The Standard.
About 6000 landlines to country towns, disconnected when a cable was cut near Meredith Wednesday afternoon, were restored about midnight.
Mr Mundy said council workmen had severed a fibre-optic line to the South Melbourne exchange not long after the services had been diverted from Warrnambool to ease the load.
“Work on putting redundancy into network loops to avoid such an outage is continuing,” he said. “I would remind outdoor workers and contractors to dial 1100 before digging to check on cables.”
Meanwhile, the flow of compensation requests from business customers affected by the November 22 fire outage is continuing with about 60 people lodging claims for under $1000. About 30 have been paid already.
The response for claims higher than $1000 is much slower, but Mr Mundy expects most business operators will take their time to evaluate losses. Telstra has allowed up to three years for claims to be lodged. He cautioned applicants to check their banking details as some claims had been delayed because of incorrect information.
Mr Mundy said technicians would remain in Warrnambool for as long as needed attending to faults in links to customer premises identified through customer complaints to the 1800 171 355 call centre.
“We will be still here during the Christmas holiday break,” he said.