Tasmanian Internet and Phone Services Down in ‘Major’ Outage Across Much of the State
By ABC News
– Telstra said the outage was caused by cuts to two cables connecting the island state to the mainland
– Banks closed early and shops in a number of towns reported EFTPOS issues
– Hospital services and the triple-0 network were unaffected, authorities said
Tasmania has been hit by a “major statewide outage” affecting internet and phone services across the state and wreaking havoc on retail and banking services.
The network fault began about 1pm and affected Telstra, Optus and Aussie Broadband customers, along with those of other providers.
The disruptions were blamed on to two separate cuts to two of the three cables connecting Tasmania to the mainland.
One of the cuts was on the Victorian end, and the other on the Tasmanian side.
Telstra said “third parties” were the cause of both instances of cable damage.
Telstra said the Victorian cut to the cable appeared to be due to civil works earlier today in the Melbourne suburb of Frankston.
It said there had been “massive damage” caused by the civil works.
The damage to the cable’s Tasmanian end was caused by road workers, Telstra confirmed late on Tuesday.
As of 6pm, some services had been restored.
Major Telstra cables connecting Tasmania to the mainland are affected.
Michael Patterson from Telstra said multiple crews were assigned to fix the cables.
“We’ve got people on site now and we’re working to repair cables, we expect to have it back on air early this evening,” he said about 4:30pm.
“We’re trying to do it as soon as we can, as fast as possible.”
Mr Patterson said the Frankston issue was a “dial before you dig” issue.
“In some circumstances unfortunate events occur, and this is what’s happened at least in terms of one of the outages. The other one we’re still investigating.”
Banks close, flights delayed, hospitals keep operating
EFTPOS and banking services were also affected, with some people caught out and unable to pay for goods and services.
Banks closed early in Hobart’s CBD. Some stores continued to operate by accepting cash only.
BassLink says its power cable to the mainland is working as it should.
Earlier on Tuesday, Tasmania Health Commander Kathrine Morgan-Wicks said health services across the state were continuing and the emergency assistance line triple-0 “had not been affected”.
“Our hospitals continue to be operational with continuity plans activated as needed,” she said.
A spokesperson for Hobart International Airport said check-in processes had been impacted.
“We expect impacts to continue until the matter has been rectified. A number of flights have been delayed (inbound and outbound) as a consequence,” they said.
Basslink, the Tasmania to Victoria electricity connector, confirmed its power cable was operating “as per normal”.
TasNetworks, the state’s power utility, said in a social media update that the outage was due to “upstream provider issues”.
“TasNetworks external website has been impacted and is currently unavailable as a result,” the message said.