Will Hodgman

Premier of Tasmania



12 March 2016

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Information Technology and Innovation

Internet service interruptions

The Tasmanian Government is very disappointed the Tasmanian customers of a group of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have had their services interrupted and has spoken to affected ISPs urging them to buy more capacity on the remaining Telstra cables.

Our understanding is that customers of TPG (which includes iiNet, Internode and Netspace brands) have been affected while customers of other non-Telstra ISPs are provided for.

Today, I have spoken to TPG senior management to put forward the concerns of Tasmanian customers. I have been assured that TPG are aware of the issues and will continue to expand their use of the ample Telstra capability.

As I stated some time ago, Telstra advised there was sufficient capacity to cater for all Tasmanian retail and wholesale customers on the two fibre bundles it owns and operates across Bass Strait.

As recently as today, Telstra has advised that this remains the case, and we note that other non-Telstra ISPs were prepared for the cutting of the Basslink cable, which was anticipated.

In my discussions with Telstra Wholesale this morning, I also reminded them of the importance of constructively receiving requests for more capacity from TPG. This is notwithstanding the fact that the Tasmanian Government cannot dictate commercial terms to either party.

TPG has undertaken to review the situation with a view to purchasing additional capacity from Telstra to adequately service their Tasmanian customers.

I had previously met with TPG in early February where the impending Basslink fibre outage was discussed.

It is important to note that the price of using services across Bass Strait is regulated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Government traffic was shifted off the Basslink cable earlier this month to avoid any possibility that important Government services would be interrupted when the cut was made.

This has ensured that such services have continued as normal, as have those of all ISPs that prepared for this known eventuality.



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