TELSTRA has acknowledged a planned outage which knocked out phone services in Sale in Tuesday was not the best timing, given local people were still dealing with the aftermath of flooding and storms.
The telco’s regional general manager, Loretta Willaton, said the 5G upgrade work was part of a national program, and this work had been scheduled in Sale for some time.
“Given the flooding and storm situation that’s happened recently in Gippsland, we asked our team to stop work at an early stage of the upgrade to ensure we could maintain coverage for customers,” she said.
“While there was a small impact to some customers in central Sale [on Wednesday], we’ve now restored connectivity, and 3G and 4G services at the site are back to normal.
“We’ll work to find a better time to get this upgrade done and we’ll ensure the community’s aware of the upgrade when we re-schedule it.”
Another Telstra spokesperson emphasised “it wasn’t an outage, it was planned work”.
Telstra’s outage tracker incorrectly showed the issue covered almost the entirety of the Wellington Shire, and extended offshore.
But the Telstra spokesperson said the map was wrong.
“Importantly it didn’t impact the entire of Wellington Shire,” he said.
“The wider area of pink shading was an error.
“It was just one site, in central Sale, where we started doing some prep work for 5G upgrades which impacted services for a short time [on Tuesday].
“We’ve also stopped doing the 5G work given the flooding-weather-storm impact in Gippsland.”
The loss of service also posed a problem for people trying to check in to the government’s QR system and use eftpos machines on Tuesday.