Lower Eyre landline loss due to equipment failure

A technical issue with equipment at the Port Augusta exchange has been blamed for the loss of landline services for about 60 customers on Lower Eyre Peninsula in recent weeks.

Local residents reported losing landline services in early December which did not return until January 3.

A power outage was behind the loss of landline services on Monday.

Lynley Howell was one of the Kapinnie residents who lost her landline service on December 8 and was without it for more than three weeks.

Mrs Howell said this was the longest period of time her household had been without landline.

She said the loss of the landline service could leave residents like her isolated.

“It seems ridiculous, sometimes we can’t get mobile coverage here,” Mrs Howell said.

“That means I can’t even get my neighbour to contact someone.”

Telstra regional general manager Mark Bolton said a complex technical issue impacted landline services for about 60 customers, including at Kapinnie.

Mr Bolton said Telstra had investigated and instigated a number of options to try and fix the problem remotely, but had no success.

“We sourced replacement equipment and a technician installed and reset the hardware equipment which did fully restore all services to our customers on January 3,” Mr Bolton said.

Mr Bolton said following a mains power outage in the Mount Hope area on Monday an equipment failure occurred at the same site but services returned when power was restored.

He said a Telstra technician visited the Kapinnie site again on Tuesday to ensure all services were working effectively.

“I take this opportunity to apologise to our customers over this period,” he said.

“This is not the experience that we want for our customers and we’ll continue to monitor the situation closely.”

Mrs Howell said her household was dependent on the landline for business and for safety and hoped Telstra would ensure its continuing operation.

“We’re here harvesting and my husband could be out at a fire, and if there was a fire here I wouldn’t know what to do,” she said.

“If they can maintain the lines that would be great.”

Mrs Howell said she had contacted Telstra for compensation for the three week loss of service.