Updating our earlier report that Vodafone’s network is down in Queensland, we’ve started chasing comments from contacts to find out how Optus and Telstra were faring. In short, Optus seems to be struggling in the Brisbane CBD but is OK on the Gold Coast. We’ve also received a number of reports that Telstra’s network is doing fine in most areas. UPDATE: Official comments from Telstra and Optus now included. UPDATE: Vodafone is back online (4.15pm).
It’s largely anecdotal at this point, and we’ll update this story as new and more official details come to hand on how the networks are coping with this unprecedented flooding disaster.
UPDATE 3:29PM: Optus contacted us to say they’ll shortly send out a formal statement on current Brisbane and Queensland coverage.
UPDATE 4:08PM: Telstra sent us this update on their QLD network performance: “We have no mobile network issues in Brisbane – although several towers are operating on battery power because of local power outages. We are working with local energy authorities to ensure ongoing power supplies… In fact our wireless network across Qld is holding up remarkably with only a handful of affected mobile towers.”
UPDATE 4:34PM:Optus sent through this detailed outline of coverage impact. In summary, there is only limited impact, with issues focused on power outages and cell loading due to network congestion due to high call volume.
QLD Floods – network update
As of 4.00pm today there has been limited impact to the Optus mobile network in the flood affected areas of Queensland. However, as the flooding situation is changing rapidly, some mobile sites are at risk due to power outages. Where possible, we have deployed backup generators in some locations throughout the flood affected areas to allow us to respond to power outages.
Optus engineers continue to closely monitor the network during this period of excessive flooding in Queensland to minimise any impact on our customers.
In Toowoomba and the surrounding area, Optus has three mobile towers at Helidon, Gatton and Gunters Hill that are currently without power. However voice and data services are still available as coverage to these towns is being supplemented by additional towers in the area.
While Optus’ equipment at the Toowoomba exchange has not been affected, residential and business customers may experience a service disruption due to flood damage within their premises.
In Brisbane Optus has had minimal disruption to its mobile and fixed network infrastructure. However there is some congestion on the mobile network due to the high rate of calls within and surrounding the Brisbane CBD.
Due to a loss of power within the Mt Stradbroke our mobile towers within the Lockyer Valley are currently running on battery power. Due to the extreme flooding situation we are unable to access the area to install portable generators.
It is likely that there will be a loss of service to Optus customers within this area from this evening until we are able to deploy power generators onsite.
We are monitoring the situation closely. Should customers need to contact emergency services in the event of an Optus service disruption, we encourage customers to call 112 to be switched to the nearest available network.
UPDATE 4:52PM: Good news for Vodafone customers in the South East Queensland area. Services are back, according to this update just sent through to us by Vodafone HQ. Spare a thought for the staff working in tough conditions to get things back online.
4:15pm (AEDT) UPDATE- Vodafone services restored: Brisbane, Ipswich, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and some rural areas in QLD.
Vodafone voice and data services in Brisbane, Ipswich, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and affected rural area, have been fully restored, as of 1:45pm AEST.
Vodafone’s exchange facility located in Coorparoo, QLD, has been affected by flooding. We are working hard to protect the site, with employees on the ground building a sandbag barrier against rising flood waters.
Vodafone appreciates the patience of affected customers and apologises for any inconvenience caused.