Optus says it is giving out free prepaid mobile handsets loaded with $1,000 in calling credits to stranded bushfire survivors who were Optus customers.
The free mobiles and calling credits will be available to bushfire survivors whose Optus home or mobile service has been disrupted.
The number two telco will also "zero-bill" existing customers' accounts for three months if their house or business has been destroyed in the fires.
"We extend our sympathy to all the people across Victoria," an Optus spokesperson told APC. "The full extent of damage to the Optus facilities is still to be determined due to ongoing fires across Victoria. We are working with the relevant authorities to ensure quick and safe access to restore services to our customers."
"Our technicians are working on-site to restore mobile services that have been affected in Victoira. We have generators there and temporary mobile base stations. The majority of mobile network facilities that have been affected are because of loss of power or fire damage.
"We have 16 mobile towers still affected in Kinglake, Marysville, the Alexandria area and Gippsland. We've boosted our mobile capacity in Whittlesea, as that's where a key emergency relief centre has been set up and where many bushfire survivors have been relocated to.
"We have a satellite cell on wheels on its way to Alexandria which we hope to have operational at 8pm tonight."
Customers who want to apply for the three months of zero-billing or the free mobile handset with $1000 credit should call Optus customer service on 1300 300 937.