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Extreme weather plays havoc with the phones

Walloon resident Milton Smyly has been without a home phone for two weeks and has been trying to get Telstra to fix it.
Walloon resident Milton Smyly has been without a home phone for two weeks and has been trying to get Telstra to fix it. Sarah Harvey

THOUSANDS of Telstra customers have been left without home phones as the telecommunications giant struggles to overcome the summer of weather extremes.

Telstra said it was worse than 2011 because it was also trying to reconnect phones in the aftermath of extreme weather in NSW and Victoria.

People across Ipswich contacted The QT to express their frustration and anger, including Milton Smyly of Walloon.

"We have been without a home phone for two weeks now," Mr Smyly said.

"When I first rang iiNet to report it they told me Telstra were very busy and it could take a while. They later made contact and told me Telstra would have it fixed by close of business on Tuesday, March 12. This did not happen."

To make matters worse, he said, he was being charged a line rental fee for something he couldn't use.

A Telstra spokeswoman said ongoing extreme weather in Queensland had resulted in "significantly higher fault levels than normal, in some cases up to four times higher than normal operating levels".

"Our first priority is always to repair faulty services as quickly as possible and to this end we have activated a number of resourcing options to cope with this extraordinary demand," the spokeswoman said

She said they included bringing additional resources from interstate and redeploying staff back into the field while staff were working long hours, weekends and RDOs.

"At this point we are unable to advise a timeframe for full restoration as some of our infrastructure remains under water and sustained poor weather is expected to continue to hamper restoration efforts," she said.

"While we have had a few days of good weather across Queensland, water and lightning impacts our network and customers services in different ways - some will have problems straight away and others will start to notice problems over time. So faults keep coming in and this is the situation we are managing.

"There are still delays with restoration and timeframes for service repairs are longer than we would like, however we reassure our customers that restoration of their services in our priority and we thank them for their support and patience during this time."

Topics:  oswald telecommunications telstra



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