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Up Wolf Creek without a signal: outback cable cut disconnects top end TPG, Optus customers

Truck hauls up Nextgen fibre, the fix is in once repair crews can find the break

A cut to a Nextgen Networks fibre is cutting off Northern Territory Optus and TPG customers north of Katherine.

Since TPG also owns the iiNet and Internode brands, customers of those service providers are also affected.

iiNet identifies the start of the outage as yesterday on its status page, 4:19 pm Western Standard Time. At 6:15 pm WST, it posted that the cause was down to a fibre cut.

Although under the same owners, Internode apparently wasn't notified of the cause until later, since it was after 11pm Australian Central Standard Time (90 minutes ahead of WST) that the company says “Our network partner has identified a fibre cut in the Northern Territory, technicians have been dispatched to the site. Due to the fibre cut being located in a remote location with tough terrain there is no current ETR. Further updates will be provided when available.”

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation says a truck “became stuck in a gully near Katherine”.

While the truck was being winched out, the ABC reports, it dragged and broke the buried cable in several places.

The cable belongs to Vocus subsidiary Nextgen Networks, which built a large number of rural and remote links during the 2000s under the federal government's Rural Broadband Blackspots program.

According to iiNet's status page, a fix is expected during the afternoon of May 2.

NBN customers weren't affected. ®

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