BORDER residents say they are losing phone and internet services as the Communications Electrical Plumbing Union accuses Telstra of failing to properly maintain the copper network.
Lavington resident Wayne Cozens said his internet dropped out when it rained and his partner regularly had trouble accessing her online university studies.
“It’s endless,” he said.
“I’ve had Telstra technicians out six times in the last few months and they say they’ve fixed the problem each time but it drops out again.
“It’s been happening for about eight months to a year and it’s drama after drama.”
Mr Cozens said he had been forced to connect his computer to his mobile phone to continue gaining access the internet.
Nearby resident Beryl Grant, 76, said her phone had also stopped working when it had rained.
“I had a really bad time there a bit over a year ago,” she said.
“I was constantly ringing Telstra.
“I’m now on my own — I recently lost my husband — and I have cousins in the UK who ring me.
“But it hasn’t been bad of late, it’s been good.”
Two other residents on Mair Street said they had not experienced any problems.
But Communications Electrical Plumbing Union NSW branch assistant secretary Shane Murphy said customers were experiencing issues across the region with “thousands” of problems with the network.
According to Mr Murphy, the problem affects all carriers.
“Telstra are pushing staff to get to the next job at the expense of quality,” he said.
“We’re simply fed up with Telstra workers being treated like pawns and being pushed from job to job.
“In the meantime, customers are paying for premium services, and the service is failing.
“Our members are being blamed for it.”
Telstra area general manager Steve Tinker said technicians often had to undertake temporary fixes before problems could be completely solved.
“We spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year operating and maintaining the network which provides phone and internet services for millions of Australians.
“We have literally hundreds of technicians installing and maintaining our networks.
“They do that every day and do a wonderful job.”
Mr Tinker said restoring services was Telstra’s first priority.
“We have always asked our staff to ensure they do a quality job and do the best job they possibly can,” he said.
“They do a wonderful job but from time to time they have to do a temporary fix.”