Tuesday, 01 March 2022 14:59

FIXED AT 7PM: Telstra says 2 of 3 Tasmanian fibre cables cut, explaining Tassie Internet outage Featured

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It's all over the news - Tasmania is experiencing severe Internet problems via fixed and mobile internet, and while the island state isn't completely cut off, there are definitely major issues.

7.01pm UPDATE:

  • One final update – all services have now been restored.

6.58pm UPDATE:

  • Thanks to the work of our teams on the ground, restoration is progressing well and we’re beginning to see services come back online across Tasmania.
  • We expect all services to be back shortly.

Previous updates and original story:

5.16pm UPDATE from a Telstra spokesperson:

  • Work is progressing to restore fixed and mobile services in Tasmania, following third party cuts to our two main cables between the mainland and the state.
  • We have crews at the separate sites to repair the cable and get traffic back online.
  • There was massive damage to the cable in Melbourne caused by third party civil works. The team is in the process of hauling and connecting nearly one kilometre of fibre. We anticipate services starting to come back online early this evening.
  • There is an impact to ADSL and nbn internet services, some free to air TV and radio stations and mobile data services are quite congested.
  • Triple Zero calls can continue to be made and we’re prioritising voice calls.
  • Our network across the Bass Strait is configured with multiple redundancies, with the two main links providing back up for each other, and a third smaller link being available for priority traffic (such as Triple Zero and voice) on the very rare chance both main links go down. Unfortunately this is what has occurred.

Original story continues:

According to the TasNetworks Facebook page, "We are experiencing a major statewide internet outage caused by upstream provider issues. TasNetworks external website has been impacted and is currently unavailable as a result. For major outage information, please stay up-to-date via our Facebook page. Thanks for your patience while this issue is investigated.

"Update: 2.25pm: Services are now being progressively restored across the state. Some connectivity is back, but some ISPs are still down, so some customers will still not be able to access our external website. Please stay up-to-date on outages via Facebook and we will advise when our external website is fully accessible."

The TasNetworks home page is also down, as it is hosted in Tasmania, which is, of course, largely offline. 

iTWire has reached out to NBN Co, and while they've acknowledged via Twitter "We are aware of an outage in Tasmania, which may be impacting some of our services. We will provide an update as soon as we have more information", there no additional information from them yet at time of publication. 

Initially, a Telstra spokesperson supplied the following info:

  • We are urgently investigating an issue impacting Telstra mobile and fixed connectivity in Tasmania.
  • We believe it is the result of two separate cable cuts on the main routes into Tasmania.
  • One cable has been cut during civil works and the other cable is fairly remote and techs have just arrived on site to assess the impact.
  • There is an impact to fixed and mobile data, some voice calls will be getting through and there is no impact to Triple Zero services.
  • We are urgently working to resolve the issue and assessing restoration times.
  • We’ll provide further updates as soon as we can.

The cables in question are the undersea cables that connect Tasmia to the mainland, but the cable cuts have occured on land, not in the Bass Strait, so we can't blame rogue Russian submarines or other undersea activity for this outage. 

The Telstra spokesperson also noted to me there are three cables going to Tasmania, of which two are now down, with that single cable carrying all the traffic that can get through, and of course, it is saturated with traffic, and thus slow. 

The Downdetector site shows lots of people listing NBN outages in Tassie.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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