Telecommunications & electricity FAQs

Thirty four of our communities lost mobile and broadband service over the first three days of the June storms, and communication blackspots are an ongoing issue for Yarra Ranges residents and businesses.

Additionally, 46 townships had power outages due to the storms, some for many weeks, impacting businesses and community members in a range of ways.   

NBN and Ausnet have provided further information regarding the work undertaken through the flood and storm response below. 


Why did it take so long to restore power, what was the priority?

The damage from this storm was greater than anything we’d seen before. The weather front didn’t let up for two days, it took us time to get in and assess the damage before we could begin repairs.

We managed to restore power to almost 80% of impacted customers within the first 48hrs, but this was a major storm that caused significant damage and we worked around the clock to restore the power as quickly and safely as we possibly could.

It took some time to access the area and to fully understand the extent of the damage and the scale of the recovery and repair. Our field crews always work as safely and as quickly as possible and these conditions were particularly challenging. We requested back up from interstate crews to help us with the rebuilding efforts.

The repairs alone took some time, but there were also actions such as tree clearing that needed to be completed before we could get to the actual repair work.

We can't switch on power to a line until it is repaired all the way along. Before a line can be switched on, we need to be 100% sure that the entire line is repaired or else we risk the safety to homes, to the lineys working on restoring power, the potential of causing further damage to the network.

We know that didn’t help the people who suffered without power for such a long time – and we apologise again for the distress that this caused. Because of the extreme damage to the Dandenongs region, we implemented a dedicated Dandenongs rebuild plan and kept the community updated each step of the way.

Will powerlines be put under ground?

We’ve made significant investments in the network to improve reliability and indeed do have targeted replacements of underground wires where feasible. In the past year we maintained 6,900 km of underground cable to communities.

It is quite a complex process to put an entire network underground around existing towns, cities and other competing infrastructure.

Underground powerlines also have drawbacks, we all love vegetation and trees, to underground an entire network would require significant clearing of trees, damaging environmental effects of digging trenches removing soil and disrupting vegetation, habitats and cultural heritage sites.

There’s also cost considerations, with Victorian energy bills likely to be impacted by putting an entire network underground. When there is a problem with an underground fault it takes considerably longer to find it, dig it up and repair it.

What’s being done to minimise power disruptions?

We’ve done a lot of work to improve reliability around the network and we invest a lot to continuously improve reliability and maintain our network to Australian safety standards.
We work to maintain a reliable network every day of the year. In the last year alone, we trimmed 216,000 trees in high-risk bushfire areas to increase safety. We proactively identified 5,700 trees for removal to improve safety during bushfire season.

In the past year we carried out 80,000 pole inspections to support the network and maintained 38,200 km of overhead powerlines to keep you connected.
Our total network covers an area of 80,000 km, with 93% in rural and regional areas

*Information provided by Ausnet 


Where is nbn’s restoration up to?

nbn has restored all but three services impacted by the storms on 9 June and the winds in late July.

The remaining customers have a case manager assigned and nbn is working to restore their services safety and as quickly as possible.

How will nbn manage the network in the area going forward?

As part of our network recovery processes, we conduct a review of the response and recovery to inform how we manage the network in the area going forward.

The review process includes: an assessment of the damage incurred by the network; the impact to customers; the potential for resilience improvements and nbn’s restoration process.

When assessing the potential for resilience improvements, nbn has criteria in place to inform its decision-making processes. Considerations include the current technology, geological assessments of the area and cost estimates.

This process in relation to the 9 June storms and July winds has begun and we expect it will take approximately three months.

How to report future outages

If you experience an outage following a weather event, monitor the nbn website and the website of your internet provider for updates on outages in the area.

Your first point of contact should always be your internet provider who will manage your enquiry and can raise a single service fault with nbn if required.

Once this is done, please ensure you note the incident number provided by your internet provider as nbn will use this as reference to track your query.

You can find more information on the nbn website.


What is Council doing to support communities around telecommunication blackspots?

Council is undertaking an in-depth study to gain a greater understanding of the mobile and broadband issues within the community, including a community survey of fixed and wireless internet services in homes and businesses, as well as blackspot drive testing.

That will shape a formal submission to the State Government’s Connecting Victoria program – a $550 million initiative to improve mobile and broadband connectivity across the state.

Public submissions to the Connecting Victoria survey can be made online until September 20 at

For more on Council actions: