Wollongong residents still disconnected after Telstra outage

It's been almost three weeks since Wollongong psychologist Alan Crockford's phone and internet lines went down, and he's been told he may have to wait the same amount of time to get them restored.

Mr Crockford was among thousands of residents and business owners in the CBD and surrounding areas who lost their phone and internet services on Saturday, March 29, due to flooding in Telstra's Wollongong exchange.

While Mr Crockford uses a different service provider for his internet and landline, he said Telstra was responsible for the fault to the phone line at his Market Street office.

"The phone line went dead on March 29 then came back for about four days before it died again.

"However, at no point did the internet return," he said.

"I have been in touch with Telstra and my telecom service provider, Commander, to try and get the problem rectified as it's affecting my business.

"Commander did a test again on Monday which confirmed that it is a technology problem - that there is a fault in the line - which needs to be fixed by Telstra. I'm now told that it might not be fixed until May 5.

"I can use my mobile but I'm still not able to send emails, which is a real issue for my business which deals with a lot of probation and parole clients, and I need to provide regular updates on attendance."

Up until late Thursday afternoon Keiraville resident and Telstra customer Jeffrey Marks was also being inconvenienced by the outage, which affected 3500 ADSL connections and 1400 fixed service lines.

Mr Marks had been without access to his home phone since March 29, and had been told by a Telstra technician this week that it could take until May 5 to get it reconnected.

However, after the Mercury contacted Telstra on his behalf on Thursday lunchtime, Mr Marks was both surprised and delighted to have his phone back in service a couple of hours later.

"Calls from my home line were diverted to my mobile so I still got calls, but it did cause some issues," he said.

"For instance when my wife and I went away for a short break, my elderly mother was house-sitting and she didn't have access to a landline, so I had to ask our neighbours to check in on her.

"Plus we were told by Telstra that we would be provided with regular updates and we haven't been."

A Telstra spokeswoman said all repair work was completed at the Wollongong exchange on April 6, although there may still be some "individual customers who are experiencing issues".

"We would encourage people who may still be experiencing faults to notify us so we can look into their individual situation - it's now a case-by-case basis rather than a broad outage," she said.

"Due to the wet weather in recent weeks there are a number of faults we need to continue to work through and we thank people for their patience."

Telstra customers experiencing continuing issues should contact 132 203 or 132 000 for business customers.

Related reading

• Telstra outage 'could have cost lives'

• Offline businesses feel the pain

• Internet outage hits 3000 residents

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