LIFE without the internet for more than a year is starting to take a toll on school, work and family life, say two Thurgoona mothers.
Tania Dove moved into her newly built home off Kerrs Road with her husband and son in June last year expecting all the amenities of modern day life, but quickly realised that wasn’t the case.
Almost every house that has been built since that time is without internet and after months of phone calls, Mrs Dove got her answer as to why — all the ports in the area had been allocated and the NBN wasn’t due to come until mid-next year.
“We continually ring Telstra, I started off ringing them every fortnight but now I ring every month to see if they have a spare port open,” she said.
“We tried to go through the communication ombudsman; my husband wrote a letter and they got back within a month and said it’s not Telstra’s responsibility to upgrade ports any more, it’s the government’s responsibility to pay for upgrades, so there is nothing they can do.”
Mrs Dove works as a nurse and her and her husband Glen stay back after work to get things done online.
“We get much less time at home with the family and my five-year-old has to find time to do his homework at school because it is online,” she said.
“I’m also a children’s church co-ordinator and it’s hard because I have to write everyone letters by hand and do everything by hand because I can’t just email people.”
Natalie Montgomery is experiencing similar issues and said she bought a wireless dongle for her family to use in the meantime.
“We were doing $50 top ups each time for hardly any data and that was costing us an arm and a leg, I would hate to think how much we spent,” she said.
“It was very slow and dropped out a lot, it was very frustrating.
“We couldn’t buy things online either. I went to pay a bill online one night and it went through twice because I didn’t know if it had gone through or not.”
Both families regularly go over their mobile data and Mrs Dove said it would have been nice to have known about the lack of ports before building in the new development.
“Who would think being in a new estate with houses being built all around us that we wouldn’t be able to get internet,” she said.
“Other new estates near us probably won’t have it either.”