Telcos compensate Australian flood victims

Several Australian operators have pledged to compensate customers in flood-hit Queensland for loss of service, as they battle to keep communications open.
 
Carriers including Telstra and Optus say they will offer compensation, with some going so far as to contribute to customer’s relocation costs if their home is destroyed.
 
Incumbent Telstra will also match employees’ donations to a flood relief fund up to a maximum of A$500,000 (€381,381), while Vodafone Hutchison Australia and subsidiary Crazy John's have pledged to donate A$150,000 between them.
 
The compensation comes as most carriers in the country report problems keeping networks up and running.
 
Vodafone Australia yesterday lost mobile services in several parts of Queensland including the Brisbane CBD for several hours, after flood waters damaged its exchange facility in Coorparoo.
 
Services went down at around 10am local time, but were restored by 1:45 pm, the operator stated.
 
Rival Optus warns that some of its own mobile sites are at risk due to power outages. The company's mobile towers in one region are running on battery power, and the floods are too extreme to install portable generators making service interruption likely, it said.
 
For Telstra, it is fixed line infrastructure that is causing problems. It is unable to access damaged lines due to the flooding, resulting in disruptions to its fixed and mobile services in some parts of Queensland.

ISPs Internode, iiNet, iPrimus and Exetel, and fiber operator Nextgen Networks have all also reported service interruptions, the Register reports.

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