At 4am on Thursday morning, a small fire broke out in the roof of a Telstra telephone exchange in the south-west Victorian town of Warrnambool. Over the course of the next few hours, the fire would tear through the once-pristine communications hub, leaving it a sad shell of what it once was. The ash has now settled, but 60,000 Victorians are still without basic telco services. Come with us for a tour inside the gutted exchange building.
Firefighters who attended the blaze reported that there was significant damage to the roof and inside the building as a result of the fire. That one-line statement barely begins to describe the damage.
Telstra has rolled out temporary mobile phone service via the use of a Satellite Cell on Wheels, also known as a SATCOW, and Giz readers in the area report that phone and internet services are still out.
The telco this morning reported that mains power had been restored to the building. Now begins the reconstruction process.