Vodafone goes underwater in Brisbane
Some Queensland residents attempting to use the Vodafone network have been unable to do so since early yesterday morning.
Networks Telstra and Optus both said they had seen minimal impact on their networks. Telstra said there was "no major" impact to its Brisbane network. "But as you'd expect where towns are flooded we've been impacted, too". Optus said it had faced "minimal disruption in the flood-affected areas".
However, Telstra's mobile and fixed telephone network is out of service in Grantham and Withcott, to the east of Toowoomba. A spokeswoman confirmed that internet access was unavailable in Murphy's Creek and Westbrook, and that service on fixed lines was patchy in Helidon and Gatton.
Infrastructure has been badly damaged in Darling Downs and Toowoomba. It is currently too dangerous for Telstra technicians to access exchanges to repair the damage, she said.
The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network said emergency services had asked people to stay off telephones "unless absolutely necessary" to avoid congesting lines.
"Vodafone is currently experiencing a disruption to voice and data services in some parts of Queensland including Brisbane, Gold Coast and rural areas," Vodafone said in a statement about 1.30pm AEST.
"Vodafone's transmission facility located in Coorparoo, Queensland, has been affected by flooding."
Engineers were onsite and services were being restored, it said.
"We expect full voice and data services within the next two hours, depending on weather conditions. Vodafone appreciates the patience of affected customers and apologises for any inconvenience caused."
At 3.17pm AEST Vodafone said some data services had also been affected in Ipswich, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and some rural areas, however voice services in these areas, outside Brisbane, remained operational.
At 4.15pm AEST Vodafone said services had been "fully restored".
Vodafone also said its staff had been evacuated at the Brisbane, Toowong handset service centre on Coronation Drive, Milton.
Brisbane resident Anthony Dever, 31, who is staying with family in Toowoomba, said coverage had been getting "worse and worse" over a period of a few months but that yesterday about 8.30pm "the service dropped out completely".
Since then, he said, it had not been restored.
The service was getting so bad, he said, that yesterday he went down to Toowoomba's Telstra store to buy a SIM card.
It just so happened that at the time he went to get the SIM, Toowoomba was hit with flash flooding, causing him to get stuck in the CBD for hours.
"While I was in the CBD, that's when the flash flooding occurred," he said. He was stuck in the CBD from about 1pm until 4.30pm.
In recent times Vodafone has been under pressure to improve network coverage after about 12,000 of its customers put forward their name to form a class action lawsuit against the company for poor network performance.
Sydney Morning Herald