Telstra outage hits 3G, 4G customers in Nannup and surrounding areas amid peak fire conditions in South West

Hannah CrossThe West Australian
Telstra 3G outages across the lower South West, centring on Nannup.
Camera IconTelstra 3G outages across the lower South West, centring on Nannup. Credit: Telstra

Workers excavating for a local shire in WA’s South West has been revealed as the cause of widespread communications outages on Friday after they cut the transmission line to the nearest exchange tower — knocking out mobile, fixed line and NBN services for hundreds of customers in the process.

Mobile and fixed line services impacted across Nannup and surrounds have left residents unable to call emergency services amid peak fire conditions as a heatwave sweeps the State.

Telstra customers are unable to access 3G and 4G networks in the lower South West area and may not be able to call triple-0.

A Telstra spokesman confirmed on Friday that the damage was a result of “accidental damage to our underground transmission cables”, caused by excavation works being undertaken on behalf of the Shire of Nannup about 10am.

“Telstra techs have visited the site earlier this afternoon to inspect the damage and a specialist fibre repair crew is now on-site and commencing repairs,” Telstra regional general manager Boyd Brown said.

More than 260 fixed line customers and more than 200 NBN and ADSL internet services have been affected by the bungled dig.

Seven mobile base stations have lost coverage at Cundinup North, East Barrabup, Jalbarragup, Quongup plus three base stations in Nannup.

“Unfortunately we don’t have an estimated restoration time as yet, but barring unforeseen issues, expect to have full connectivity back by late tonight,” Mr Boyd said.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services issued an alert about 4pm — six hours after the incident — regarding the service outages.

Nannup is among the several areas amid severe heatwave conditions, with the town reaching 40.5C about 3pm Friday afternoon. It is expected to top 41C tomorrow.

The dangerous fire weather has prompted DFES to advise residents to stay vigilant, be safe and check in on family members, friends and neighbours, as well as closely monitor their local ABC radio station for bushfire warnings and emergency updates.

Communication equipment has also been set up outside the Nannup Shire Office and the Fire Station on Adam Street, and the Nannup Recreation and Community Centre on Warren Road to “support additional internet, wireless telecommunications and the mobilisation of emergency services until the outage is restored”.

Maps of the outages show large swathes of the South West area without mobile service, from as far north as parts of Capel River, east towards Bridgetown, west towards Schroeder and south to Peerabeelup.

For updates, visit www.telstra.com.au/outages.

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