2 May 2024

UPDATED: Telstra base station in Candelo 'significantly damaged' by suspected vandalism

| Albert McKnight
The Telstra base station at Candelo

The Telstra base station at Candelo was damaged earlier in April. Photo: Telstra.

UPDATE, Thursday, 2 May: Telstra has put temporary plans in place to improve coverage after its base station in Candelo was significantly damaged.

“Telstra crews have delivered a temporary connectivity solution for customers in Candelo after our base station was vandalised causing significant infrastructure damage and affecting mobile coverage in the area since last week,” Telstra regional general manager Chris Taylor said.

“We’ve optimised nearby Telstra towers to help offer some overlapping coverage and yesterday we installed a short-term fix that will provide customers in Candelo with some 4G coverage.

“The temporary coverage will mean customers in town should be able to make and receive calls and texts, however until the mobile site is replaced, some areas might still be patchy, and we expect mobile data to be slow.”

He said Telstra would continue to work on replacing the mobile site as quickly as possible, but due to the severity of the damage, it might take a month or longer.

Tuesday, 30 April: Telstra’s base station in the southeast NSW town of Candelo has been “significantly damaged” in a suspected act of vandalism that has caused network issues for local residents.

A photo of the scene shows a tower at the base station that has fallen over and is resting on the ground.

“Police were notified of damage to a telecommunications tower servicing the Candelo area on Friday 26 April 2024,” a NSW Police spokesperson said.

“Officers attached to South Coast Police District attended and commenced an investigation.

“Inquiries are continuing.”

Telstra’s regional general manager Chris Taylor said his company’s mobile base station at the site was “significantly damaged”, which had been affecting mobile services for customers in and around the area since last week.

READ ALSO Connectivity issues in the bush under scrutiny as Aussies are invited to have their say on telecommunications

“We’re working with police to investigate what happened and encourage anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the area to contact Crime Stoppers,” he said.

“Vandalism like this not only inconveniences local residents, but it also poses a potential safety threat for vulnerable customers or people with a medical condition if they lose connectivity.

“We’re working to get everything back online as quickly as possible, however due to the severity of the damage, it may take some time to fix.”

Mr Taylor encouraged residents to check the Telstra Outages webpage for the latest information by clicking here.

On Tuesday afternoon (30 April), the outages map for the Candelo region appeared to show there were network issues from Bemboka in the north to Myrtle Mountain in the south, as well as Black Range in the east to Tantawangalo in the west.

“Our technicians are onsite and working to fix the issue,” the webpage said on Monday afternoon.

READ ALSO Woman dies in single-vehicle crash near Goulburn

Mr Taylor also said residents could try accessing Wi-Fi calling.

This works during a mobile outage and is a free setting on most popular mobile phones, allowing mobiles to use a Wi-Fi network to make and receive mobile calls.

For more information on Wi-Fi calling, click here.

“Landline, nbn and other broadband services should not be impacted,” Mr Taylor said.

Police urge anyone with information about this incident to contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000.

Daily Digest

Do you like to know what’s happening around your region? Every day the About Regional team packages up our most popular stories and sends them straight to your inbox for free. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.