Townsend General Store owner John McFarlane has been without landlines, EFTPOS or ATM service since late Friday.
Townsend General Store owner John McFarlane has been without landlines, EFTPOS or ATM service since late Friday.

Store owner takes aim at Telstra

THIRD world technology cost John McFarlane half his usual turnover last weekend.

The Townsend General Store owner said he was frustrated his phone, EFTPOS and ATM services had not been working since last Friday night.

“We lost our main landline on Friday afternoon, our EFTPOS facility went down later on Friday night, and by Saturday morning we had lost everything,” he said.

“We were initially told Tuesday (today) it would be up and running, but we didn't get a great deal of information out of them (Telstra).”

Mr McFarlane said he felt like he was left in the dark by Telstra, which gave him limited information.

“We were listed as a priority because we are a business, but that's about as far as it got,” he said.

While residents in the most recently completed estate in Townsend still had services, the outage also wreaked havoc with lines in Gulmurrad. Telstra reportedly told customers up to 700 premises had no phone or internet service.

Telstra North Coast Area general manager Michael Sharpe said the disruption began when a large gas-insulated cable began to fail on Friday afternoon.

“There was some impact to services on Friday afternoon and the major failure of the cable occurred on Sunday afternoon,” he said.

“We lost gas pressure on the cable causing services to be disrupted.”

Mr Sharpe said Telstra had technicians working on the 800-pair cable since Friday.

“We will be hauling through new cable very shortly and we are expecting to have a temporary fix up by this afternoon,” he said yesterday.

People without service had their home phones diverted to their mobiles so they still had a working telephone. Telstra had in place procedures so people calling an affected number were not charged for calling a mobile phone.

Mr Sharpe said services were being restored progressively yesterday afternoon, with all services hoping to be working by 10am today. It is the second Telstra network communications outage in the past month. The valley's communication services were crippled on June 26 after a South Grafton pit was vandalised.



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