Telstra to waive mobile bills for volunteer firefighters

Telstra will provide free mobile bills for volunteer firefighters for December and January to thank them for their efforts protecting communities around Australia.

Telstra chief executive Andy Penn said the offer was in addition to the assistance packages the company had made available to some customers.

"We've all witnessed the confronting scenes of bushfires around the country, and awed at the heroic volunteers battling the blazes," he said in a statement.

"We understand how important it is to reach out to friends and family during times of crisis, and we want to do all we can to help."

Bushfires have impacted telecommunications infrastructure in some areas, particularly on the NSW South Coast, and dangerous conditions on the ground have limited access to affected areas.

"We're doing everything we can to get these communities back up and connected as quickly as possible, but given the horrific conditions we have seen over the past few days, this may take some time," Mr Penn said.

Telstra is waiving mobile bills for volunteer firefighters over December and January. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

Telstra is waiving mobile bills for volunteer firefighters over December and January. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys said the facilities that were still operating were bring inundated with traffic.

"People are finding it, and we knew it would be, difficult in terms of communication," he said.

"That relies on the power source, a move to the redundancy of battery back-up and now certainly looking at generators and fuel to get some of those communication pieces of infrastructure up and running. It's not an easy task."

Firefighter volunteers can contact Telstra on 13 22 03 when convenient to register for the free calls over December and January.

Telstra has assistance packages available for customers impacted by the fires in Southern NSW and the ACT. More details are available at exchange.telstra.com.au

This story Telstra to waive mobile bills for volunteer firefighters first appeared on The Canberra Times.