House fire damages Telstra exchange

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House fire damages Telstra exchange
Telstra's fire-damaged exchange at Somerton in northern NSW (Courtesy: Telstra).

A house fire caused major damage yesterday to a Telstra exchange located next door, temporarily impacting about 270 fixed phone and broadband services.

Flames gutted a vacant house in the northern NSW town of Somerton, 36 kilometres north-west of Tamworth.

Telstra said it had brought in six technicians that worked through "freezing conditions" to power up a mobile exchange, reconnecting customers in the area to telecommunications services.

Services had since been restored using the mobile exchange. However, rebuilding the permanent exchange would "take some time", the carrier said.

"Our field team's priority has been to get the small community back on the air as quickly as possible, following which they will start work on a permanent solution for the area," Telstra operations executive director of service delivery, Phill Sporton, said.

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