Bymount calls on Telstra to fix phone line strung along fence

By , 17/12/2018 16:21

Bymount resident Fiona Vincent said landholders wanted their phone line fixed.FOR almost a decade part of the Telstra phone line providing Bymount residents with their only available telephone access has been strung on abarb wirefence above two gullies.

The vulnerable set up means flooding, fire or simply pecking birds can cut the service –500km+ west of Brisbane – at any time.

Following the wet change in February, when heavy rainfall impacted the line again, locals are banding together to finally see action.

Even the act of straining and maintaining the barb wire fence on a local grazier’s property is enough to cut the landlines of the eight landholders reliant on the service.Cattle producersFiona Vincent and her husbandareimpacted by the phone line setup.

While the phone line used to be underground, it has been hanging from a landholder’s fence for years.

She questioned Telstra’s commitment and loyalty to rural customers.

“I’ve been married 30 years paying a Telstra bill every month on time, where is their commitment to me, running a business?” she said.

“We knew vegetation management was coming, we have just got pumped and thumped through land valuations…is there anyone out there that does want to help us.”

The Queensland Country Life questioned Telstra over why the phone line situation was left the way it was.

Telstra Area General Manager Darren Clark said their priority was to provide a working service and regret that the permanent solution was not implemented.

Telstra said their priority was to provide a working service.

“We understand this situation is not acceptable and we apologise,” he said.

“We are in the final stages of designing a permanent solution and will implement it as soon as possible.”

Telstra’s Universal Service Obligation means theyensure standard telephone services“are reasonably accessible to all people in on an equitable basis”.

The Regional, Rural and Remote Communications Coalition, part of the n Communications Consumer Action Network,recently met with politicians statingthat 2018 must be a year of action on bush telecommunications.

An ACCAN spokesperson said theUSO was extremely important for rural and regional consumers as many areas were withoutadequate mobile coverage.

“Without a landline or mobile coverage, isolated and remote consumers can be cut off from the outside world,” they said.

Queensland Country Life

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