UNIMPRESSED: Samantha Storch with the dongle sent by Telstra.
UNIMPRESSED: Samantha Storch with the dongle sent by Telstra. Matty Holdsworth

NBN nightmare: Business suffers as connection 'severed'

IT TOOK a lucky break to finally end a nine-month-old telecommunication problem for Rockhampton's Samantha Storch.

Her ongoing saga trying to connect to the NBN had lingered since late last year during which time her order was cancelled three times due to miscommunication between Telstra and NBNco.

When Samantha got the run around from Telstra trying to connect to the NBN and when her ADSL internet connection was severed entirely last week, it was the final straw.

Having access to the internet is essential for Samantha, 36, who works from her Park Avenue home as a business development manager for a Brisbane-based commercial furniture company.

She lodged complaints with Telstra and on Wednesday the company said she'd have to wait another 10 days to see if her problem was rectified.

That's when she posted a comment on The Morning Bulletin's Facebook page and the newspaper picked up her story and contacted Telstra and the NBN.

Telstra, who admitted it was their fault today, informed her they would speed up the process.

"I had ADSL until last Wednesday so I wasn't that fussed that I didn't have the NBN yet but now that I don't have the internet at all, it is quite frustrating," Samantha said.

"I can't do tenders. I can't download items so I'm getting people in my office in Brisbane to do stuff for me.

"I can't guarantee that I'm going to win jobs.

"Yes hearing that I will finally be connected is great, but what about all the others?

"Just because I happened to comment on a post complaining, I got lucky (when the Morning Bulletin responded to her plight). What about everyone else?"

Telstra's short term solution for cutting off Samantha's internet (which was downloading 600 gigabytes a month), was to send a wireless dongle with a maximum download of 25 gigabytes - forcing her to pay for any excess downloads.

"I still have to pay for my $89 a month for my house internet because it's got a phone attached to it," she said.

"I've got a husband and a teenage son at home.

"You can't run a household without internet these days, especially when you've got a son in high school."

Samantha has since learnt her situation wasn't an isolated incident.

"I went up to the Telstra Business centre and the lady there told me it's happened with quite a few businesses where NBNco has gone out to the pillars and just disconnected people's ADSL so that they've got no choice, they've got to go across to the NBN because no new ADSL can be connected."

At this stage, Samantha has not received any offers of financial compensation.

Telstra area general manager Rachel Cliffe apologised for the error which had complicated matters for Samantha.

"An error in our process during Ms Storch's transition to the NBN has resulted in her being disconnected and we apologise to her for the inconvenience this has caused," Ms Cliffe said.

"One of our techs recently attended the premises and another is booked to finalise the process tomorrow. We provided a wireless internet solution to keep her connected during this period."

But the question still remains, how many others are still left in the dark?


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