Rain and faulty NBN causes a business to lose everything
INTERNET-dependent business owners are having their livelihoods put on the line each time it rains as internet connectivity issues plague Dalby and surrounding areas.
Christine Tully depends on NBN connectivity to run her chiropractic business by electronically storing patient files and accessing vital documents online, however has been affected by frequent internet outages.
Mrs Tully had to wait eight months for the NBN to be connected and when it finally was in February she lost access to everything - including phones, Eftpos and patient files - for two weeks.
"It's been very disappointing," she said.
The internet connectivity was so poor that every time it rained in Dalby the business lost access to all internet-dependent services.
"We couldn't make appointments for people, people couldn't pay, we had to chase up accounts all the time," Mrs Tully said.
"Then people don't make appointments because people can't get a hold of us and we can't book them in."
An online business owner in Dalby, who wished to remain anonymous, described similar issues.
"The idea of being online is to spend less time and have more free time for myself rather than being in a shop where you're stuck there all day," she said.
"And that's not really working because you tend to have to spend more time online ... and it's taking away that productivity."
Dalby Chamber of Commerce president Rohan May believed from an economic standpoint, proper internet connection was the "lifeblood" of the town.
"Without a reliable and solid internet service, we are dead in the water," he said.
"The more important piece is what it costs businesses when that NBN is unreliable.
"We have got reports, especially in the last week, of outages, very slow speeds ... it's not a direct cost when that stuff doesn't work properly, it's an indirect cost. And it's a burden to business."
NBN local Queensland spokesman Ryan Williams said outages and slow speeds could be caused by myriad factors.
"It is important for people to understand the speeds experienced over the NBN access network are determined by a range of factors, including the technology used to deliver the network, the broadband plan they choose, equipment quality, software, signal reception and how retail service providers design their part of the network," Mr Williams said.
According to the NBN, the corporation had received zero complaints from business owners in Dalby in the last 12 months, despite many reported occurrences of late.