HOME phone and ADSL services were restored last week for most of the Telstra customers affected by the month-long outage in Bulahdelah.
Federal Member for Lyne, Dr David Gillespie, contacted Telstra on behalf of residents, and was informed the outage was initially caused by rain, with two broken cables further complicating the issue.
“It’s been totally unacceptable that people have been without basic telephone lines for that long,” Dr Gillespie said.
“I’m not interested in all the excuses, I am angry that it happened, but my briefing is that it has now been fixed.”
Although the service has been repaired, residents and business owners have been left frustrated over the ongoing issues.
“We didn’t have a home phone for four weeks, and couldn’t get an answer when it would be repaired,” resident Eric Saville said.
Bulahdelah Home Improvement Centre owner Steve Everingham, said he suffered a loss of 20 percent in trade during the four-week outage.
“All our orders and payments are done online, and without internet and a phone, we missed out on a lot of business,” he said.
As this is not the first outage that has occurred locally, residents and businesses say they just want a more reliable service.
Speaking with News Of The Area in Bulahdelah last week, Dr Gillespie said the government has a “big commitment to improving rural communications”.
“We have the NBN, and the other innovation we have started is the mobile phone black spot program,” Dr Gillespie said.
“There are hundreds of black spots that have been nominated, and co-funded by the Federal Government with Optus, Telstra, and Vodafone.”
The Government invested almost $600 million to improve mobile coverage in regional and remote Australia in rounds one and two of the program.
An additional $60 million in funding has been committed to a third round.
Dr Gillespie said he hopes the blackspot program “will continue and expand even more”.
By John SAHYOUN