A man uses his mobile phone in front of a Telstra logo in central Sydney, August 13, 2009. Reuters/Daniel Munoz

Telstra has announced two assistance packages for its Northern Queensland customers affected by Cyclone Debbie. Residential and small business customers who have lost services or have been evacuated were encouraged to report.

Telecommunications manager Rachel Cliffe said that the company has a number of additional resources in the area which was ready to use as soon as the cyclones pass. "We understand this is a terrible time for anyone who has been affected by the cyclone and hopefully this package will help people as they work through this time," Cliffe said in a statement.

The packages were categorised based on the impact of the cyclone to the customers. It includes short-term measures and long-term measures packages. The short term measures are intended for customers in the temporary evacuation of promises or temporary fault. Long term measures fit customers who have suffered severe damage to or loss of their premises. The long-term measures include fixed services and BigPond services.

Short-term measures package allows customers a free use of Telstra public payphones in the affected area. Regardless of the carrier, customers could have a free call diversion from an affected fixed-home service to another fixed or mobile service chosen by the customer. It also applies to business phone service. Local and STD calls at fixed-line rates are available for customers who use the free call diversion service. The offers are applicable for customers who remained evacuated for a maximum period of three months from the date of the cyclone. It is also applicable until network damage in the area is repaired.

Fixed-services package allows customers to cancel a Telstra fixed-phone service at the affected address. Number reservation applies starting from the date of the cyclone up to 12 months. Free call diversion is available extending up to six months from the date of the cyclone. Local and STD calls at fixed-line rates are available in accordance with the customers' selected HomeLine or BusinessLine plan.

Customers who wanted to disconnect its BigPond service at an affected address could apply for early termination without paying the fees or charges the comes with it. If customers prefer to connect the service to an alternate residential or business address, connection charges will not be applied within a 12-month period beginning from the date of the cyclone. GST to accounts of customers who wish to retain their BigPond service at a temporary alternate address will be applied. It would help the company to cover the costs including a move of a BigPond service to a temporary alternate address and a move of a BigPond service back to the customer’s original address. Free replacement of the modem or USB device for existing Telstra Mobile Broadband residential and small business customers would be provided if required.