Preparing for extreme weather
As we head into the time of year where extreme weather sometimes impacts on services, I want to share some of the ways we prepare for seasonal weather crises.
Since January 2011, weve seen periods of significant rainfall and some big cyclones hit both the east and west coasts of Australia. Its no surprise that damaging winds and rain have a big impact on the Telstra network, often affecting our ability to activate and restore services to our customers.
In the last few years weve had times when fault volumes in regions have been up to nine times normal volumes. When this happens, we move technicians from other regions and states as well as adding additional resources wherever we can.
Every year Telstra puts in place a significant amount of planning, working with various National and State Emergency bodies to try to prepare for different weather events such as floods and fire and we regularly test our disaster recovery processes.
Sometimes we have to declare a Mass Service Disruption (MSD) in an area after significant weather impacts. This does push out our standard timelines for normal service activation and fault activity. We also often see areas declared either Red or Amber Zones, which means we may not be able to enter, or have limited access to, exchange service areas.
Keeping you informed
So how do we address these challenges, and what can you do to prepare your business?
Weve introduced a Workload Heat Map in our secure customer portal that shows what our workloads are across the country. Using traffic light colours, it indicates relative volumes and will give you a high level guide to the workloads were managing.
We also have an Extreme Workload Volume graph that shows customers what the fault volumes are relative to normal volumes.
Our indicative Fault and Activation Lead Time report for various regions gives guidance to help you manage your customers expectations during times of extreme weather. Weve also enhanced our online service assurance system (LOLS) so when you log a fault that may be impacted by a Mass Service Disruption or high workload, youll be advised upfront that there may be some delays.
You can check the details of Mass Service Disruptions online to find out the location and impacted number ranges, as well as a timeframe for resolution. We send Mass Service Disruption notifications to our customers by email as well, so if youre a Wholesale customer not receiving the email, contact your Service Manager for help.
As we now head into the extreme weather period, we all hope for a quiet season so we can all just focus on getting on with business.