AN O’CONNOR business owner has been without a phone line for four months and believes the slow roll-out of the National Broadband Network is to blame.
Following a litany of excuses and no-shows by Telstra, Crackpots Marine Supplies owner Paul Tod resorted to hooking up a makeshift 4G mobile system to handle emails, faxes and phone calls at his new Forsyth Street premises.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous,” he fumes, “two months before I moved in I paid a contractor $4000 to get everything set up so that Telstra just had to show up and do the most simple of connection jobs,” he says.
“But I just got one excuse after another and for a week and a half I was without any communications at all.
“I’ve resorted to a mobile setup now, but it’s very slow and unreliable for business.”
Graeme Gillon had a similar issue at his home in the swish new Port Coogee development.
Mr Gillon says he tried to get an ADSL2+ service, which he’d had at a remote rural property over east, but was told the wrong technology had been installed at his local exchange.
“We cannot even get dial up,” he groaned.
“There are no free ports at the local exchange and they will not upgrade this due to potential NBN coming through. No one can confirm when, but NBN Co say it might be within the next 12 months or more.”
Mr Gillon says his daughters have to hotspot their phones to do their homework and they can’t stream any telly.
“Given I need to use the internet for my work, I will need to consider moving or paying for the excess data until the NBN comes past the house.”
Fremantle federal Labor MP Josh Wilson says his office has been inundated with similar complaints.
“From Hammond Park to North Coogee and Coolbellup to Beaconsfield, there are telco trouble-spots all across the Fremantle electorate that residents have been reporting to my office,” he says.
“Most commonly, residents have been reporting the unavailability of internet service, but some people can’t even get a phone line.
“As deputy chair of the joint standing committee on the NBN, I will press for expedient delivery of the vital NBN upgrades across Fremantle.
“A first-class digital network is a critical component of the 21st century australian economy. We can’t let the vastness and geographic isolation of our country hold us back any longer, and we can’t afford to lag further behind on education, health and jobs.”
by STEPHEN POLLOCK