Telstra comes under fire in Mundoolun resident protest

NOT HAPPY: Di McMath (far right) and other residents of Birnamdale Estate, Mundoolun, frustrated by unreliable internet services. Photo: Supplied
NOT HAPPY: Di McMath (far right) and other residents of Birnamdale Estate, Mundoolun, frustrated by unreliable internet services. Photo: Supplied

PROTEST signs were up last Thursday at the gateway to Birnamdale Estate, Mundoolun, after residents became so frustrated with their internet provider that they felt there was nothing left to do but make a stand.

According to Di McMath, who has lived at the estate for seven years, the internet service in the vicinity has never been good.

“We have consistently had intermittent problems with our internet,” she said.

“One day recently, it took me longer to download my emails than it did to paint the sign that I’ve put in front of my house!”

Ms McMath said a lack of reliable internet had become problematic for several residents running home-based businesses, and schoolchildren who relied on the internet to complete assignments.

“Many residents have complained to Telstra or their providers,” she said.

“One of my neighbours rings up and complains every month when she gets her bill.”

Ms McMath last contacted Telstra a fortnight ago.

“To be honest, it’s always such a frustrating call because it’s never shorter than an hour on the phone and never resolves the internet issues,” she said.

Residents decided to start a petition, attracting almost 50 signatures.

According to Ms McMath, she went to Wright MP Scott Buchholz’s electorate office in April, 2017 to organise a meeting with him. A constituent officer subsequently contacted Telstra and obtained some information.

“We are still waiting for a meeting to discuss our issues and present the petition.

“We were fed up and thought more needed to be done to let his office and Telstra know that the residents of Birnamdale Estate are not happy,” she said.

Mr Buchholz told the Times he received the residents’ petition on July 21. 

“The details and individual examples of problems with internet service have been logged by my office and sent to Telstra for their assistance,” he said.

“Following this assessment and consultation with Telstra, I would be happy to meet with a group of these residents. 

“In the meantime, I ask that residents be patient as the NBN rolls out across our electorate.”

Telstra area general manager Darren Clark said the company continued to look at expanding coverage and improving capacity on a case-by-case basis.

“We have upgraded the area’s local infrastructure in the past twelve months and we continually assess demand to help determine where further upgrades need to occur,” he told the Times.

“Mundoolun is also serviced by our state-of-the-art 4GX wireless broadband service and we offer high speed wireless alternatives for customers.”