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back to article Telstra issues report on Warrnambool exchange fire

Telstra has determined that the catastrophic fire in its Warrnambool Exchange, which in late 2012 took 100,000 Victorians offline, was an accident. The carrier has issued a report on the incident, the summary of which says an unspecified electrical fault was the cause of the fire, either in the roof of the exchange's control …

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FAIL

TANSTAAFL

This is what you should expect when you privatize critical infrastructure.

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Bronze badge

Re: TANSTAAFL

What, you should expect it to catch fire? I'm not sure I follow your logic.

Are you suggesting that before privatisation the electrical cables in the ceiling used a different set of physical laws that would have prevented them burning? Or that there was a better fire detection system in place that got removed post privatisation?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: TANSTAAFL

@Terry Barnes - No, I'm suggesting - actually I'm not really suggesting since it's a known fact, so I'm stating - that privatization leads to reduced expenditure on preventative maintenance activities, particularly those that are tied to non loss-of-life risks. So you should expect outages.

As a private entity, Telstra has no interest in inspecting exchanges for this sort of problem prior to one occurring. They can't justify the cost to the shareholders and since no minister has to front the press to explain why this happened, there's no pressure from the govt either.

Privatized essential services are not cheaper than public services. There are several reasons for this. The first is that no one can borrow money cheaper than a govt. so the cost of capital investment for private entities is higher. The second reason is that private entities need to make a profit. Public entities do not. Therefore, any putative savings gained from 'efficiencies' are generally lost to profit. Lowering actual costs to the public means reduced service - always. The public expects the same level of service so the pressure is on to reduce costs in areas that are not immediately visible. This is why long term PM takes it in the neck. So the moral is that if you expect better service, lower prices and lower taxes all at the same time, you should also expect very inconvenient shit to occasionally happen. TANSTAAFL.

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Anonymous Coward

Omen of the future?

Is this what we can predict for half of a state when a major NBN hub burns?

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Facepalm

At least we will have NBN for diversity

They wouldn't put NBN nodes in these same locations to reduce diversity - would they?

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