NO INTERNET: The sign in SPAR at Evans Head advising customers that no EFTPOS is available.
NO INTERNET: The sign in SPAR at Evans Head advising customers that no EFTPOS is available. Samantha Elley

Internet outages cause frustration

FRUSTRATION is the common feeling throughout Evans Head as the small town has experienced yet another internet outage.

Over the past month, depending on who you speak to, residents and businesses have lost their internet connection three to four times.

"Last week we lost the internet for two full days - Monday and Tuesday," Evans Head Medical Centre practice manager Paula Bale said.

"Other dropouts have lasted a couple of hours, or a half day."

While the inconvenience for patients in paying their bills via Medicare is one issue, Ms Bale said not having the internet could be life-threatening for some.

"We receive all our pathology results, specialist letters and discharge summaries through the internet," she said.

"If a patient comes to us needing treatment after they have just been discharged from hospital and we don't know what they need or what they've had done, that's a real problem.

"Having the internet drop out as often as it does and for as long as it does is just not fair on anyone."

While the practice does manage to get limited function through its wifi system, SPAR supermarket in Oak St was not so lucky.

"Our figures go down when the internet goes down," owner Shane Todd said.

"Not all customers have cash, so we lose a lot of sales because they can't use their cards."

Mr Todd said the shop didn't function well when it couldn't receive emails.

"Our shop is put on hold. Telstra rarely can give us a time when they can fix the problem," he said.

"I wouldn't mind if it happened once. But this is the fourth time in a month for us."

Mr Todd said two of their tills still hadn't been recalibrated from the last outage.

While services have now been restored, Telstra is looking into the recurring problem.

"We appreciate that people want answers as to why the internet keeps failing," a Telstra spokesperson said.

"We have technicians in the field looking into it - but we don't have answers yet."

At the time of publication, Telstra had not found a solution.

Updates will be posted on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/RivertownTimesnewspaper.



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