back to article Crack Telstra Cabling SquadTM goes all Tarzan to restore internet

Some time ago, this Vulture South hack had a not-uncommon experience: loss of broadband during a storm. It wasn't water that killed things, but lightning: 130-plus metres of cable was scorched. The cable was direct-buried, meaning there was no convenient conduit through which a new cable could be dragged. Telstra, to its credit …


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Quit ya bitchin, at least you have internet, and it is better than most people have. ;)

Personally I think they did a brilliant job unless you want to pay $10K + to get it correctly ducted and laid. Mind you, I think their HSE people might object to them climbing trees to lay cable :)

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21st Century Telstra

And of course, the major advantage of having it out in the open like that is that the combination of leaf condensation and rain will keep the string nice and wet, with gravity to take care of the all important NBN String Tension Requirements.

Brilliant! Once again Australia leads the Third World!


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Tis Nothing!

Our Telstra telephone cable had been stapled to a tree in our garden with an super-industrial size staple, around which the trunk had grown.

Eventually the tree died and was eaten by termites to the point where you could punch your fist into it up to your elbow. As it leaned across our driveway, we had to have someone come and remove it. Once the bees were taken care of and the staple cut out, the cable hung so low you could walk into it!

So there, none of that fancy telegraph-pole cable attachments in your photos, just a stonking big staple wedging it into a tree.

IT Angle


(This - Malcolm would like people to note - is why we can't have nice things)

The phone stopped working, I'm further than Mars from the exchange, so can't get internet anyway (I know, but she complained), so I rang Telstra and the SA Crack Cabling Team arrived. After checking around the house and every single shed they eventually found the line into the house ... under the house ...

But that wasn't the problem. So where's the line go? Well it goes to the (not really a road) Government Road, just at the end of our drive, doesn't it? No. Oh.

It goes up your paddock to your neighbour's place. But that's in the opposite direction to the main road?! Yep.

So anyway, they couldn't find that pit. But, running parallel to the Main Road and yet further away from the exchange (some 200 metres further) they did find a pit. So they strung up a line (using gaffer tape, a big plastic "chucking pole" ... a length of pvc pipe and gaffer tape - for getting it up into trees - and yet more gaffer tape - god love gaffer tape) down a couple of fence lines, across a couple of gates, down a hillside, up a couple of trees, over a couple of sheds, over the house roof and down under the house.

Bless 'em :-)

Phone worked.

From there the Crack Team whipped out a laptop and with some very nice network diagrams I was not allowed to screenshot, figured out that my phone line runs:

From the exchange a long, long way away ...

Down the main road past my house (which is about 400m from the main road at the end of a phantom government road)

... 1.3k past my house ...

Up one of the neighbour's drive

Across their paddock (2 of them) - now 100m past my house, the other way, 500m from the main road)

To the junction with another neighbour's fence line

Up his fence line

Connects to his place

Past his place

Into a pit no one can find

Back down to our place (70m or so)

So I stood with the lead bloke from the Crack Cabling Team and he said, "What I'm going to do is put in a Network Improvement Request"

How we both laughed.

Phone is still working, though ;-)

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Good work

Frankly I commend the Crack Cabling Squad on doing what was necessary to get the line working in a pinch. Impressive!

Round here, you'd have been waiting weeks just for the health and safety red tape before the contractor could so much as lay eyes on the tree, let alone string cable over it!


Cack Cabling Squads rule ok?

I too have had a team from the SA Division work their magic;

After a clown with a jackhammer trashed 200-pair of copper & 24 cores of single-mode fibre, it only took the temporary repair team 5 hours to do 400 copper joins and 48 fusion splices.

A week later, we did an all-nighter cutting over to brand new cable hauled between the two relevant pits. 4 vans, 8 blokes, and thankfully a cool but clear evening...

Wouldn't have wanted to e sent the bill for that one!


Bush Technology at its finest.

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Cable in Trees

Stringing cable in trees was a common military technique from Queen Victoria's time. It was then known as "comic air line".


On a topical sporting note...



New reality

Such expectations. Duct? Underground? Haven't you heard the Age of Entitlement is OVER?


Not surprised

After having a run-in with a "Crack Telstra Cabling Squad" in Creswick, Victoria, after they nearly wiped us out with a truck, I'm not surprised by what these cowboys do

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