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Outage sparks Telstra back-up pledge

By Sharnie Kim, Thursday January 31, 2013 - 10:23 EDT

Telstra says it is going ahead with plans for another back-up cable to prevent more communications outages in northern and central Queensland.

Many phone and internet services were cut for almost 24 hours from Sunday evening after a coastal cable was washed out by flooding and an inland back-up link was damaged by a landslide.

Telstra's Amanda Albon says it is still unclear when the new route will be up and running.

"From what I understand it's actually been approved and is going ahead," she said.

"It's being tested at the moment and I haven't got a fixed date on when that will actually be in operation.

"I would say that the third route will eliminate - well can't say eliminate can you - it would mitigate as many possible issues in the future as possible."

The federal Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter, says the outage was unacceptable, especially in times of disaster.

"That the Government provides a full and comprehensive explanation as to why for the fifth time, for the fifth time, telecommunications have been found disastrously wanting," he said.

"It's the Government's duty to come in and ensure that whilst you're making your profits you provide a certain essential service component."


© ABC 2013

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