Hello, hello, is there anyone listening to our problems?

August 31, 2017

TELCOS and car salesmen are becoming harder to separate in their losing battles for popularity.

This comes as no surprise when you look at what residents of Bunnaloo have had to deal with in the past month.

Having a new mobile phone tower installed has done anything but keep them connected.

Residents such as Natalie Durrant are understandably not impressed with how long it’s taking for the service to actually work.

“I’m disappointed with what we’ve been given, especially after lobbying for a new tower to be installed for several years now,” Natalie said.

“This has not worked for the region at all and it is absolutely useless really as it’s made the situation worse rather than better.”

The stalled progress of getting the tower fully operational has left residents such as Natalie feeling like they have been failed - and forgotten - by Telstra.

“Residents and businesses are missing calls and getting voice messages days late because of the poor service so it’s having a significant effect on them.

“We feel like second rate citizens and simply can’t function properly without a tower that gives us the service it should.

‘‘We just want it fixed so we can continue our lives without the distraction and hassle we have now.

‘‘With how long it is taking to be fixed though it doesn’t look like we are getting any sort of priority from them.”

The wait for the tower to be at full strength is a cause for frustration and disappointment for farmer Damien Connell as well.

“We were pushing to get the tower for five years and it’s not what we expected it to be,” Damien said.

“We aren’t getting the service we were told we would get and that’s frustrating.

“We just want a reliable and stable service which people in other regions get; instead it’s fallen well short of what people were expecting.”

Damien said having a tower which is not giving a stable service is going to have an effect on emergency services too, putting lives on the line.

“These towers need to be running well, not just for residents but for emergency personnel as well.

“If they aren’t able to coordinate people and resources in emergency situations then that could make already challenging scenarios even worse.”

Telstra area general manager Steve Tinker said disruptions can occur over the first few weeks while service is optimised and tested.

‘‘Once activated, all our sites undergo rigorous testing and monitoring to optimise the new services,’’ Steve said.

‘‘At times, this may result in some disruption to the new coverage in the first few weeks while we work to ensure the best outcome is achieved for the community.’’

Steve said Telstra is available to advise people who are struggling to obtain a strong connection on how to improve it.

‘‘We can provide advice on how to maximise the coverage already available in your area and also have a number of products that can help improve coverage in your home or business.

‘‘We’re happy to sit down with our customers and work out their best options with them.’’

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