Telstra Australia
A man and power lines are reflected in a Telstra poster adorning a public telephone in Sydney, Australia, August 13, 2015. Reuters/David Gray

Tasmania is in the middle of a crisis as the Basslink cable that connects it to mainland Australia remains cut. Technicians and repairers have no clue where the fault lies. Gamers are facing the heat as Internode and iiNet have blocked all Steam downloads. Service would be restored only after more capacity is purchased.

Internode and iiNet have also blocked peer-to-peer downloads, such as BitTorrent, and Blizzard Entertainment game updates, creators of popular online games such as Starcraft 2 and World of Warcraft. They are blocked entirely.

Over the weekend, Internet speeds came down to a fraction of equivalent connections in Melbourne. Although there is enough capacity on Telstra’s cable for off-peak periods, peak periods are facing tremendous congestion.

Michael Ferguson, Tasmanian IT minister, tried to bring some sense into the situation. He talked Internode/iiNet parent company TPG into ordering more bandwidth from Telstra for its customers. That was made possible through the secondary Telstra-owned cable, which is Tasmania’s only wired link to Australia and the rest of the world.

However, this cable is nowhere close to Basslink’s capacity. Hence, Tasmanians will have to bear slow Internet speeds and restrictions for some months to come, reports Gizmodo Australia.

The ABC reports that due to the Tasmania power crisis, Hydro board decisions will come directly under parliamentary spotlight. Hydro Tasmania will have to explain its decisions in Tasmania's power crisis.

“I've called for a joint house parliamentary inquiry to look into this. I think when that happens there will be a very different perspective than some of the views out there,” said Energy Minister Matthew Groom.

The minister is facing sustained pressure from opposition parties, which have raised questions on the minister’s handling of the prolonged energy crisis. Repairs to the undersea Basslink cable line is dragging and dam levels are dropping. Moreover, the State Opposition has criticised the Government for approving the Tamar Valley Power Station sale.