Complaints about National Broadband Network (NBN) problems continue to mount across the Riverina.
More than 70 per cent of respondents to a Fairfax poll reported having problems with the NBN and one man said the next-generation internet technology had absolutely failed him.
When Yoogali musician Ben Ceccato heard the NBN had been rolled out in his area, he was keen to get connected to high-speed broadband to help with his studies. But two weeks after he placed an order for a fixed wireless connection, his service provider gave him his money back.
“When you go to the website it says I’m eligible, but when the technician came out he couldn’t connect to the tower from my house,” Mr Ceccato said.
“He tried another unit and it worked, but he wasn’t allowed to put it in.
“The NBN has absolutely failed me, internet is a basic requirement of study and I have to go to my parents’ house to do my homework.”
Frank Smith said he had spent many hours on hold trying to get his mother’s phone reconnected and called NBN Co “useless”.
“It shouldn’t be this hard,” Mr Smith said. “I ran my mobile phone battery flat one day trying to get though to them.”
Mr Smith’s mother, Patricia Bagley, had her landline phone disconnected on January 29, but it wasn’t reconnected until February 20, more than three weeks later.
“I think they should iron out all of these problems before they roll out any more homes,” Mr Smith said. “If you were running a business, why would you let your phone be cut off for weeks, you’d want it done on the same day, it’s ridiculous.”
Glenfield Park resident John Hendry said the NBN was “a great step backwards”.
“The recent long power blackout in the Glenfield Park area highlighted the backward step our service has taken,” Mr Hendry said.
“With no power we could not report the fault and in an emergency we cannot dial 000.
“We were most happy with our previous ADSL and home phone service but since the very day it was disconnected it was an awful compulsory change.”
Telstra area manager Chris Taylor said there had been generally positive feedback from about the NBN.
“We want to give our customers the best possible experience with their NBN service,” he said. “We are certainly happy to talk to any customer who may be having an issue or ask that they report a fault that we can look into for them.”
An NBN Co spokeswoman said anyone having problems should call their service provider first.
“This is important because there can often be issues affecting a service that is outside of the NBN network, like equipment quality, software and how each service provider designs its network,” she said. “It’s vital that people let their retailer know that they are experiencing problems to resolve the issue.”
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