There was a meeting held on Wednesday 20th March at the Galston Club. Julian Leeser MP had called the meeting following the amount of complaints received by his office from residents in our area.
There were representatives from NBN, Telstra, Optus and Vodafone plus an audience of over 120 residents.
NBN gave an opening address of what to expect from NBN, when it is likely to become available in our area (approximately May 2020) followed by updates from Telstra, Optus and Vodafone.
When the floor was opened to questions, Telstra took a real battering. Clearly the representative present had no idea of the amount of issues which our residents are experiencing.
Some of the points raised were:
1. Internet speed incredibly slow – and in places non-existent (ie many black spots)
2. Deterioration in both landline and mobile services over the past 12 months.
3. Quality of contractors fixing problems was very poor. It was reported by a local electrician that the state of the telstra boxes were appauling. No correct labeling on wires, and no care taken in neatness so other wires could be easily accessed and fixed. Contractors appeared to have little knowledge of how to fix issues. Some contractors (ie old Telstra employees) are the few that seem to know how to fix issues.
4. The quality of contrators is causing fault upon fault, ie residents getting their neighbours phone numbers, disconnecting lines in error,
5. Why has the NBN been rolled out into areas where their internet was fine, but not rolled out here where these is a need for a more reliable service (assuming NBN will actually work here).
6. Satellite NBN is being used by some residents, but its data allowance is too low for the technological world we live in today where so much is provided by the internet.
7. Residents said existing problems are not being fixed, as Telstra doesn’t want to spend money prior to NBN being rolled out.
8. Why are we being charged full price when the service provided is so poor.
The Telstra representative was unable to answer many of the issues raised, however they had a number of employees ready to take residents questions back to the office for specific investigation of those issues and they said they would get back to them as a matter of urgency.
Telstra stated that they didn’t think this area was at capacity. However this was disputed by a number of residents in the audience who couldn’t get phones connected.
Telstra also stated that in the ‘internet of things’ their services were experiencing some network congestion (ie residents using Netflixs and other video) which takes up more bandwidth, and therefore causes slower speeds for all on the network at peak times.
Telstra also mentioned the option of its mobile Cell Technology’ which might help alleviate problems in rural communities like ours. mobile but there is a higher cost involved for the customer to set up and install the system.
At the end of the presentation, residents stayed to log their issues with Telstra. Many said “we’ve attended other meetings with Telstra and not much changed” others were more optomistic and hoped as this Telstra representative was more senior, then something might be achieved.