TELSTRA says lessons it learnt from last year’s devastating Warrnambool exchange fire were put into action last month when a bushfire destroyed a key link on Kangaroo Island.
The Cygnet River telephone exchange was destroyed, triggering an emergency response by the telco which only last November was spurred into action when the Warrnambool fire knocked out 100,000 services across the south-west.
“We definitely put some of the learning from Warrnambool into action on Kangaroo Island,” Telstra corporate media spokesman James Howe said. “We got mobile exchanges there quickly, redirected services and identified medical priority lists.”
He said an interim report on its inquiry into the Warrnambool fire would be finished soon.
Mr Howe also defended Telstra’s response to recent fires in the Epping district when it ran notices in media outlining impacts on its services and apologising to customers. He said the response was different to Warrnambool where there was criticism for lack of clarity in explaining issues.
“There’s an obligation for us to advise customers when there’s a natural disaster that prevents us from doing repairs in the required time and it exempts us from compensation,” he said.