Telstra landlines, internet down after road contractors cut cables

Beechwood Road roadworks.
Beechwood Road roadworks.

One thousand phone and internet customers in the greater Wauchope area have been without service since Monday or Tuesday, after contractors working on Beechwood Road cut two fibre optic cables.  Telstra staff are working to repair the damage and hope it will be fixed tomorrow (Friday December 8) but can’t guarantee it will be that soon.

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council contracted Stabilised Pavements of Australia to do major roadworks on Beechwood Road-Oxley Highway to Cowdery Street, and they started new work there last Friday (December 1). 

But on Tuesday, the contractors cut through two fibre optic cables and 1,000 customers in the greater Wauchope area found themselves without phonelines and/or access to the internet.

The council say they notified Telstra who are trying to rectify the situation today – Thursday December 7.

It has affected a number of small businesses which people run from their homes and have been unable to operate properly.  

Areas affected include Lake Innes, Rosewood, Fernbank Creek, Sancrox, Mortons Creek Brombin, Yippin Creek, Telegraph Point, Comboyne, Frazers Creek and parts of Wauchope including Riverbreeze, Glenview estate and Cameron Street.

Many customers who rely on their landlines and internet have spent hours phoning Telstra trying to get answers about when service will be resumed.  Some have medical problems and need to be able to stay in contact with doctors or carers, if they become ill.  Others have lost business due to the outage.

Hamish Keddie and his wife live and Sancrox and are with the NBN and Telstra.

“It went off on Tuesday afternoon.  My wife came home after work.  She rang up Telstra.  They said they would send a technician out to look at our NBN router on Friday.  We said that sounds serious.  They said no, it’s fine, just routine,” said Hamish.

“They blamed our area.  We asked a few neighbours and they had no NBN/Telstra either.  A business in Wauchope told us the same thing.  We still don’t have it.  My wife works at night from home.  She hasn’t been able to do anything.

“It’s incredibly frustrating that they haven’t informed customers what’s happening.  We’ve queried.  We’ve rung up.  Nothing.  It’s bizarre. Some people rely on it,” said Mr Keddie.

IT consultant Peter Saville has been trying to help customers all around our area and is also frustrated by the lack of information.

“I’m at the point of going to David Gillespie, the Lyne MP and complaining about it,” he said.

Telstra sent a technician to the scene today (Thursday December 7) to begin repairs which they hope to have completed tomorrow, Friday.

“We are aware of an issue impacting some landline and ADSL services in the Wauchope area after a cable was cut by a third party,” said Telstra area general manager, Mike Marom.

“We apologise to our customers for the inconvenience and are hoping to have repairs completed as soon as possible.”