A contractor inspects cable pipes that should be under the riverbed.
A contractor inspects cable pipes that should be under the riverbed. Contributed

Telstra pipe floats in river

THE replacement of a Telstra cable running under the Burnett does not appear to be going very well - with a reader yesterday snapping a photo of the conduits floating on top of the river, despite the fact they should be buried under the river bed.

North Bundaberg residents have been becoming increasingly frustrated since their Telstra internet and phone connections became sporadic and, in some cases, non-existent since early December.

Telstra has been working to put a new cable under the river to replace the original one that was damaged when the riverbed covering it was washed away.

But the pipes destined to hold the valuable cable were yesterday spotted floating in the river.

When the NewsMail contacted Telstra spokesman Doug McClure about the pipes, he said he had only just been briefed on the situation and could not say whether the incident would push back the original completion date of February 17.

"We were looking at being ahead of schedule, so I don't know whether this will just push it back to the original date," he said.

School teacher Kath Scotney said the problems began in early December, with phones crackling and often not working.

Since then, the situation has worsened, and Mrs Scotney has now been left without any phone or internet access.

"I'm the head of curriculum at North (Primary School) and because of this, I can't work from home," she said.

"It's so inconvenient - I can't even do my internet banking at home.

"This is pretty awful in the 21st century."

Bundy Homes owner Debra Randall said she had reported the faults affecting her phone, fax and internet to no avail.

Mrs Randall said her business was suffering as a result of the outages.

"It's just ridiculous in this day and age," she said.

"People are just getting an engaged signal when they call us.

"It just comes and goes. It's unacceptable."

Mr McClure said anyone suffering problems was urged to report the fault to 132 203 for residential customers or 132 999 for business customers because "temporary measures" to solve the problems were in place.