“The immense human tragedy of Victoria’s bushfires has shocked all Australians and, on behalf of Telstra, I wish to offer my deepest sympathies to those who have lost their family, friends and homes,” Mr Trujillo said.
“The bushfires have also caused substantial damage to Telstra’s telephone exchange and base station infrastructure, as well as to cabling. Thousands of phone lines and broadband internet connections are down,” he said.
Mr Trujillo said the full extent of the damage would not be known until access to the fire-affected areas is opened up.
“Telstra’s technical teams are working as quickly as possible to repair network assets and to restore connections and services,” he said.
“Our support staff are on the ground across all the fire-affected areas, including in the Emergency Relief Centres, to help get people connected. We are also bringing in more staff from across the country to restore our services and help our customers wherever we can.
Telstra yesterday announced details of the Telstra Disaster Relief Package, which includes free call diversions, mobile calls charged at fixed line rates and free reconnections. To access the free call diversions or report the loss of a Telstra land line service, customers should call 13 22 03.
Mr Trujillo today said that Telstra will also make a cash contribution of $500,000 to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal, as well as matching dollar for dollar personal contributions made by Telstra employees up to $250,000.
“As a company, we are united in our support for these staff and will do everything we can to assist them through this very difficult period, including providing access to counselling.
“We also have many staff fighting bushfires and providing voluntary support in their local communities. We commend them for their courage and commitment in the most difficult of circumstances.”