Bingara residents and business owners frustrated over six-day Telstra service blackout

bingara residents and business owners frustrated over six-day telstra service blackout

Bingara, in NSW’s New England region, has a population of less than 1,500 people. (Supplied: Lisa Herbert)

A faulty part has been blamed by Telstra for a service blackout in a northern New South Wales community that has left businesses and residents stranded without reception for a sixth day.

Bingara business owner and mother Brianna Mack said she was forced to close her boutique clothing and jewellery store for three days.

She said contact with her young children’s schools was also affected as a result.

“It’s not feasible for business, and it’s not feasible for the residents of Bingara,” she said.

“No-one’s happy because we feel like we’re often forgotten out here.”

Despite Optus’s recent nationwide outage, Ms Mack saw no other option than to travel to nearby Inverell on Monday to stock up on sim cards from a rival carrier.

“Maybe between the two, we might have something functioning,” she said.

Parts for repair flown in

After almost a week of transmission issues in the town of more than 1,000 residents, Telstra said it would fly in replacement parts from Sydney with the hope of restoring the service by the afternoon.

The issue was not identified by the telco until Saturday, with remote crews temporarily restoring transmission, before identifying a faulty part in the region’s transmission exchange.

Telstra regional general manager Michael Marom said repair work was underway.

“Our crew’s assessment was that there was a part requirement to restore services, but unfortunately that part wasn’t available,” he said.

Mr Marom said while there were parts available across regional hubs, access to specialist equipment could be limited.

“Most things can be repaired with local access to parts,” he said.

“But sometimes there is specialist equipment that is not something we’d expect to break down, and that is not so readily available.”

Telstra said business owners might be entitled to compensation, but Ms Mack said that was “not fair” for residents who were affected.

“You have a service, you pay for that service, and you’re entitled to that service,” she said.

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