Cut off for days

By KUE DAVIS

RESIDENTS of Korora Basin Road have been stranded without home telephone use for the past 11 days, after a telegraph pole came down on Friday, October 5.

Kris Hely and her husband Brent are one family that has been impacted by the incident.

"When the pole first fell down, the wires were actually running across the road," she said.

"On Monday, the wires had been bundled up and taped to the pole, so we assumed Telstra had begun to fix it. When we rang to enquire, they told us that it would be fixed by close of business on Wednesday.

"But Wednesday came and went, without any sign of the wiring being fixed. They then rang us on Thursday evening to tell us that the problem was fixed, but we had to explain to them that there was still a physical gap in the wires.

"They then said they had to re-log the damage because they had recorded it as being fixed. By this time, they told us Monday again. It's just going on and on with no end in sight.

"The last thing we heard was that they only had one truck that could fix the problem and it was out west and they didn't know when it would be back.

"We run a business, and rely on the internet to pay our employees. For the past 11 days I've been doing it manually, and I haven't been able to do any of their superannuation," Mrs Hely said.

Mrs Hely said that besides the inconvenience of it all, it was more an issue of telecommunication services to rural areas.

"We're not even that regional we're only eight kilometres from Coffs," she said.

"They haven't even fully privatised Telstra yet, and we feel like they just don't care. What's going to happen when it's fully privatised?"

Telstra area manager for the Mid North Coast, Michael Sharpe, said that Telstra was doing everything humanly possible to get the problem fixed.

"There were three lots of cable damaged when the pole came down. Telstra went out to fix the first set, and did not realise that they required a cherry picker to restore the other two sets of cable," Mr Sharpe said.

"We have had to wait for the availability of the cherry picker, and the right conditions.

"The cherry picker will be on site this afternoon (Tuesday), and depending upon local conditions, the problem will be fixed as soon as humanly possible.

"The problem is being addressed, and anyone who is experiencing difficulties can contact Telstra and have their land line redirected to their mobile at no extra cost."



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