By ADRIAN MILLER
A SEVERED fibre optic cable caused havoc around Maclean yesterday, cutting all landlines and internet services in the town and surrounding areas.
Telstra corporate services manager Michael Patterson said the problem began around mid-morning.
"At 10 this morning, alarms were sounded in Telstra to an issue somewhere between Maclean and Lawrence and we've found, at this point in time, there is a fibre optic cable cut about three kilometres from Maclean," Mr Patterson said yesterday afternoon.
He said the severed cable affected all landline services, including phones, internet services, email and eftpos and credit card machines.
"It's affecting hundreds of services in the communities of Maclean, Woodford Island, Iluka, Palmers Island, Harwood, Woombah and surrounding areas," he said.
By yesterday afternoon the problem appeared to have spread to Yamba, with some businesses reporting problems with their internet connections.
Mr Patterson said said the problem appeared to be caused by a contractor independent of Telstra, and compensation could be sought.