Thursday, 27 September 2018 12:09

Telstra NBN users in Brisbane's west hit by outages

Telstra NBN users in Brisbane's west hit by outages Courtesy NBN Co

NBN users in western parts of Brisbane, who are Telstra subscribers and are connected via HFC cable, have been enduring outages right through the week, with the Internet suddenly cutting off as early as 8.10am and reconnecting as late as 6pm.

One of those affected, former Age technology journalist Nathan Cochrane, told iTWire that he had been experiencing this situation "every day this week". Update.

"[It] starts early (8:10am today) and goes for most of day," said Cochrane, a former resident of Melbourne. "It was nearly 6pm yesterday before it came back on. Telstra either doesn’t know what’s the problem or isn’t saying."

He said looking at the network outage page on Telstra's site was of little use. "The outage page blames NBN works. They can’t get a tech to me before next Tuesday/Wednesday."

Cochrane said thought he had noticed the outages from last Sunday, they could have started a day or two earlier because he and his family had been out all day.

"I just got off the phone to Telstra tech support. They said 221 properties are affected in my area (I believe that, based on random addresses I pumped into the Telstra outage page). The call centre agent called it an 'unplanned outage'."

Cochrane said tech support had offered him 10GB of free mobile data to tide him over until the problem was fixed. "And he is assigning a complaint case manager," he added. "I told him I’m going to the TIO [Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman]."

The Telstra tech support agent and Twitter social team were blaming NBN Co "because they’re doing something in the area as part of [former Prime Minister Malcolm] Turnbull’s multi-tech mix".

Cochrane said the social team's stance was: “If the issue lies in the NBN maintained part of the network, Telstra would not get technical information about the outage, but it should be listed on here with any estimate timeframes supplied by NBN".

"This is news to me," he said. "A Telstra technician did the fresh install of cable at my address last year when we moved in. NBN Co hasn’t communicated with me in this time."

Telstra was unable to give an ETA of when his service would be restored.

"This experience reveals the absence of any co-ordination between Telstra and NBN Co, a total lack of project communications and community engagement, and the pair’s disdain for customers," Cochrane added.

A Telstra spokesperson from Queensland told iTWire that the fault would have to be fixed by NBN Co as it was that company's responsibility. Later, the spokesperson said that since this was an NBN fault, it was likely that customers of other ISPs were affected as well.

Update, 10 October: An NBN Co spokesperson said: "NBN Co has not yet taken control of the assets in this area to allow us to undertake construction so it is not possible that we have caused the outages in question."

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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