UPDATE: If you are a flood affected business and need urgent replacement or repair of your phone system our customer care team on 1800 869 266

This post is to update customers on the impact of the flood disaster in Queensland and to manage the situation for customers and restore services to the region.

What is happening?
Three quarters of the state of Queensland has been declared a disaster zone by the Queensland Premier. A combination of damaged infrastructure and loss of mains power has resulted in outages in many areas of the state. Limited site access due to ongoing flooding means we are unable to advise when service will be restored.

Status of exchange areas
At the time of this announcement there are 262 exchange areas that have been declared ’red zones‘, which means these entire areas are currently a ‘no go’ for repair crew. A further 199 exchange areas have been declared as ‘amber zones’ which means work is able to proceed in parts of these exchange areas where it is considered safe.

Brisbane and Ipswich
The Brisbane River will continue rising today, with flooding peaking in the early hours of Thursday 13 January. As Energex has advised, power supply is likely to be affected in sections of Brisbane CBD today. As a result, mobile phone towers may be placed onto battery reserve power. The duration of the battery reserve will depend on access to sites to charge batteries, and on the restoration of power in the CBD. Also, key exchanges around the Brisbane CBD will also be placed on to back up power, and manned during this time, to maintain landline and other critical services, if this eventuates.

With flood waters rising, affecting power supplies and damaging network infrastructure, we are seeing an increase in the number of landline, mobile and broadband services that are being affected in Brisbane and surrounding areas.

The following exchanges areas are at significant risk from flooding or power loss:

  • Edison
  • Ipswich

The following exchange area is at moderate risk from flooding or power loss:

  • Fortitude Valley

The Voxcom Network
The Voxcom core network is being closely monitored and has not suffered any outages. Traffic running over fiber cable that is submerged by water has been rerouted via alternative redundant paths and traffic from QLD is now being serviced from our Sydney data centre. We will closely monitor the situation and advise of any updates as they come to hand.

You get what you pay for. It’s an old cliché but has probably never been truer especially when applied to telecommunications products.

In a bid to grab market share quickly some ISPs and phone companies have either dramatically dropped their prices or started offering so called “unlimited” deals. Anyone even remotely familiar with the basic principles of supply and demand knows there’s no such thing as unlimited (unless ofcourse you are referring to the greed of large phone companies).

While it may initially look good for consumers, it’s clear something has to give. Wholesale telecommunications costs have stayed relatively stable over the past year or so, while retail prices have either fallen dramatically or have become “unlimited”.

The result has been extremely slow Internet browsing speeds, dropped calls, poor voice quality and network failures.

In most industries this would be called a drop in standards, however in telecommunications it is known as network under-provisioning. Basically it’s the telco equivalent of watering down your drinks.

Several cases of network under-provisioning have been reported and there is significant consumer backlash and ongoing investigations by the ACCC.

The case of Vodafone’s “infinite” plans has even led angry customers to set up a website called Vodafail.

What might have seemed a good idea to the marketing folks within these telcos has lead to costly litigation and a sour taste in the mouth of customers who believed the hype.

Hot on the heels of the ACCC’s action against Optus, TPG is the latest telco to have fallen foul of the competition watchdog for alleged misleading use of “unlimited” plans.

The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy has announced the New Developments Policy and implementation plan.

More information can be found at: http://www.nbnco.com.au/NewDevelopments