Missed Connection: NBN causes serious headaches

Mal Dodt from Dodts floor coverings in Gympie has been a month without a phone.
Mal Dodt from Dodts floor coverings in Gympie has been a month without a phone. Renee Albrecht

MAL Dodt has been without a phone at his business for over a month now.

Since attempting to make the switch to the NBN, Dodt's Floor Coverings and Blinds has run up against one problem after another.

"It's been going on since the first of November, we had tried to sign up for the NBN and were told our current provider wouldn't be able to do it," he said.

"So we've had to switch and the struggle at the moment is to get our phone line swapped over too."

Mr Dodt went on to describe long running conversations with Telstra that, as he revealed yesterday, have yielded little in the way of results.

"We've had another week without phones," he said.

"To make things worse, we were told yesterday that we are back to square one, so most likely another month of no phones to come."

Without a dedicated landline, Mr Dodt has taken to advertising and social media to alert customers to the issue.

Even with a working mobile phone, Mr Dodt doesn't know the potential detriment the outage has had for the business.

"People will phone the place and it'll just ring out," he said.

"It's hard to say what the impact has been, or how much business we've lost because of this.

"For any business it's bad, but in a town of this size it's just unacceptable."

The actual impact won't be known until the beginning of next year either.

With a backlog of jobs already booked, Mr Dodt is keeping an eye on January and February.

Connectivity and reliability issues have led to NBN Co temporarily suspending the roll-out of their hybrid fibre connections from December 11.

The suspension is expected to last for six to nine months as NBN Co works to improve the system.

A speed test of NBN speeds around Australia performed by Ookla revealed Optus edged out the competition.

Woolongong had the overall fastest connection with a MyRepublic setup, with Geelong blitzed the competition with download speeds - 67.05 megabytes per second - nearly twice the speed of any other plan included in the study.

In Queensland, an Optus set-up in both the Gold Coast and Brisbane proved to be the best options.

Back in Gympie, the promise of lightning-fast internet connections and a modern network has instead been a bitter disappointment for Mr Dodt.

"So basically, it's been a downturn in business, which no one will really understand until you don't have a business phone," he said.

"It's really not a good start to the new year."

Topics:  gympie business local business mal dodt nbn broadband nbn co

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