Marshall slams telco & calls on Feds to intervene
Monday, 21 March 2022
NORTHERN Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has today slammed telecommunications provider Telstra, whose planned maintenance of mobile services is expected to leave the township of Uralla without any phone and data coverage for up to two weeks.
The telco’s mobile service went off line on Tuesday, 15 March, with an update on the company’s website indicating it could be disrupted until Monday, 28 March.
Mr Marshall said a lack of communication with customers over the extent of the planned maintenance outage has left businesses without access to EFTPOS and residents without basic forms of communicating.
“It’s unacceptable to think in this day and age, that an entire town would have its mobile service cut for this long, without it being caused by some form of disaster,” Mr Marshall said.
“Over the past week, particularly over the weekend, many businesses have lost hundreds of dollars in lost sales because they have not had access to their EFTPOS services – they were simply not given enough information to plan an alternative.
“Then there’s the serious safety concerns for residents, in particular the elderly, who rely on their mobile service to keep in contact with family and access food and medications.
“This vital service must be resumed ASAP, with literally thousands of people expected to descend on Uralla this weekend for its biggest annual event, Seasons of New England.
“The economic fall-out for vendors and local businesses not having service in the lead up to, and during this event will be disastrous, and it will be Telstra who is accountable.
“The lack of communication from Telstra on the true impact of this outage prior to it starting is galling. The irony is that any updates on when services may resume require data to be viewed online – where is the sense in that?
“Telstra needs to front up to the community and tell them exactly when mobile services will resume in full, provide an alternative service until that date and cancel any customer charges for the entire month of March, to make up for the losses experienced by residents.”
Mr Marshall called on the Federal Government to intervene.
“A town the size of Uralla cannot be without mobile services for two weeks,” he said.
“As telecommunications fall under the auspices of the Commonwealth, I would encourage the Federal Member to use his considerable pull to get this issue resolved.
“While the community will no doubt welcome improved services once the upgrade is complete, Telstra really needs to pull its socks up when it comes to planning and communicating these outages.”