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Weather Beaten: Basslink Repair Finished – After Six Months

The ruptured Basslink electricity and fibre optic telecommunications cables that link Tasmania to the mainland have finally been repaired – almost six months after the fault was first detected in December.

The third and final joint of the cable repair has been completed, with the entire length of both cables back on the seabed. They will be reburied “in the next few days”, Basslink chief executive Malcolm Eccles said yesterday.

Completion of the reconnection by specialist vessel Ile de Ré narrowly beat the wild weather that has swept down the Australian east coast to Tasmania earlier this week.

The prolonged outage is thought to have cost the island state more than $500 million, according to an energy market analyst. But that count doesn’t the cost of the loss of the telecoms cable which forced ISPs to pay extra for connection to Telstra’s separate cable, which quickly became overloaded.

“The Basslink team will shortly commence a range of land-based tests of both the electricity interconnector as well as the fibreoptic telecommunications cable, and all associated equipment on either side of Bass Strait,” Malcolm Eccles said yesterday.

He added: “(We hope) to return the electricity interconnector and the telecommunications cable to service before the end of June.”

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