Wave of complaints for NBN

INCONSISTENCY has generated a swelling wave of disapproval for Deloraine residents yet to be connected to the National Broadband Network.

Even those who have been connected to the service are registering complaints about the tenuous quality of their connections.

Frequent lock-ups or phone blackouts have left elderly user Shirley Smith and her husband no choice but to continually reset their line from underneath their Deloraine home.

Mrs Smith said not only had they lost their former telephone number through the change-over to fibre optic connection, but said she was not confident it would work in a storm or blackout.

"Telstra told us they could give us a new number and in 48 hours we'd have the old one back," she said.

"That was about March 12."

Mrs Smith said although the phone service was returned, the process was putting them out of contact with family.

"We have a lot of sick and elderly relatives who don't understand all this number changing, it's so frustrating," she said.

Jessups Solar Squad and Jessups IT and Computing owner John Thirgood. Picture: Mark Jesser

Jessups Solar Squad and Jessups IT and Computing owner John Thirgood. Picture: Mark Jesser

Deloraine resident Sandra Parker said she was almost rendered bankrupt twice last year as a result of missing calls from her phone connection.

"The first technicians came along and didn't put the plug in the right socket, so I had no phone for eight weeks," Ms Parker said.

"My particular business was decimated through lack of communications; that's gone on since March last year."

Telstra Tasmania area general manager Michael Patterson said installation times could vary.

"We're working with NBN Co to make the connection experience as smooth as possible," Mr Patterson said.

"Unfortunately in some cases our customers have had to wait longer than we'd like and we apologise for this."

Business owner left dangling

‘‘THEY’RE cutting red tape, green tape, white tape — but what about the green cable and the copper?’’ Jessups Solar Squad and Jessups IT and Computing owner John Thirgood said yesterday.

Mr Thirgood is moving his Launceston business next month and has been told that neither the National Broadband Network nor copper wiring will be available when he does.

‘‘We got NBN here on Wellington Street within a month, no problem,’’ he said.

‘‘We’re just moving down the street, it’s not like we’re going to Mount Barrow or Oatlands.’’

The problem has also risen from residential properties in towns such as Deloraine, where people moving to new properties are unable to be connected to the copper network — despite apparent unavailability of an active fibre optic connection.

Mr Thirgood said he was fearful of paying double rent and occupying a facility where he would be unable to trade or receive orders.

‘‘At the end of the day it’s all about common sense with services,’’ he said.

‘‘You don’t deny standard services if you can’t immediately supply them, or supply them within ample time.’’

Mr Thirgood said he would be willing to pay to be reconnected to the copper service during the NBN interim period.

Telstra Tasmania area general manager Michael Patterson said the former copper lines could not be reconnected for people such as Mr Thirgood, due to a mandated cease sale on copper plans.

‘‘In locations where NBN fibre is available, service providers — including Telstra — are unable to connect new copper services,’’ Mr Patterson said.

‘‘This is due to NBN regulatory arrangements.’’

He said Telstra was offering wireless connections via its mobile network for users who were unable to get a fixed line.


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