The Telecommunications Ombudsman says there were 1820 fault or connection complaints about a landline service delivered over the NBN from July to September.
The Telecommunications Ombudsman says there were 1820 fault or connection complaints about a landline service delivered over the NBN from July to September.

Elderly woman cut off from phone after NBN installed

An elderly Italian nonna has been cut off from her friends for six months thanks to a hit-and-miss landline in Melbourne since connecting to the National Broadband Network.

Giuseppa Gentile, 85, has been left without a continually working landline phone, most recently for a run of three weeks, at her home.

"She is elderly - she is 85. It is her form of communication," her daughter Luisa Lio told AAP.

"They are Italian nonnas - they all ring on the landline. They don't use the mobiles.

"She is quite depressed about it. It is horrible."

The Telecommunications Ombudsman said Ms Gentile isn't alone, with 1820 fault or connection complaints about a landline service delivered over the NBN from July to September.

Complaints about landline services delivered over the NBN made up 41 per cent of all landline complaints in those three months.

Ms Lio said her mother's landline has worked intermittently since connecting to the network in June, after a letter came to the house encouraging residents to switch over.

"It is probably 80 per cent of the time that it doesn't work. She hasn't had a working phone (full-time) since June," Ms Lio told AAP, after signing up with Optus.

Ms Lio says she's made at least 50 phone calls and had more than 15 technicians sent out with "empty promises" from Optus that the landline would be fixed for good.

"They send a technician out, they fix it. It works for two, or three days. Maybe if we are really lucky we get a week," she said.

"You are not going to get a different result if you use the same process."

Both NBN Co and Optus technicians are working on the landline on Wednesday.

An Optus spokeswoman said the company has been in contact with Mrs Gentile, who has had some service issues, but says she is able to make and receive calls.

"There are a number of factors which can affect a customer's service, not all of which are within our control. This may include the age of the handset and also the use of extension cords which we suspect are factors in this case," she wrote on Wednesday.

Optus has credited the service fees for four months back to Mrs Gentile's account.

The NBN Co says there were 6.03 million homes and businesses connected to the controversial broadband network by September 30 this year.