South without service …again

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Residents of Broken Hill South have been experiencing frustrating Telstra service with intermittent phone and internet reception since Friday. Telstra said that there was a possible cut cable but that the cause is still unknown.

Patton Street shop owners said they had been experiencing varying degrees of disruptions, ranging from limited internet, landline outages and EFTPOS machines not functioning.

Hannah Ferguson said that local business, The Hair Strand, had not been able to use its EFTPOS machine and that customers were either paying with cash or coming back later to pay.

“Most people pay by card, so it definitely is disruptive to the shops here,” she said.

“We have a lot of regulars, so we trust they will come back.”

Ms Ferguson said that the Wi-Fi was functioning slowly and mostly receiving 3G service.

Business owner Sharnie Dolan of The Teepee said that she had had no service since last week’s storm.

“The whole business relies on an internet connection. We cannot place orders, reply to bookings, or use the EFTPOS,” she said.

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“We’ve been having to send links to get customers to pay.

“It is really not convenient for the customers, and you can only do that with people you know.”

Hairdresser Paige Bush said that whilst Tonic Hair Spa had not been as badly affected by the outages as neighbours at The Teepee, the disruptions were significant.

“There have been a few too many disruptions in the last year. It can take 20-30 minutes for a transaction to go through.

“They are home by then, so we really have to trust the customers.”

Ms Dolan said that there had been a significant number of disruptions to service and that she did not feel she was getting very good value for her money from Telstra.

“It’s the busy tourist season and we are losing a significant number of sales.”

Telstra has classed the disruption as “severity 4, a known outage, not affecting more than 100 customers.”

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