COMMUNICATION LETDOWN: Nevell Strohfeldt, at his new Innes Park home, is facing a two-year wait for the NBN with
COMMUNICATION LETDOWN: Nevell Strohfeldt, at his new Innes Park home, is facing a two-year wait for the NBN with "very mediocre” internet in the meantime. Eliza Goetze

Two-year wait for internet as Telstra avoids exchange upgrade

A MAN preparing to move to Innes Park is warning others to think twice about it - if they want reasonable internet services.

Nevell Strohfeldt found out the hard way that he would not be able to bring his Telstra ADSL service with him from his home in Burnett Heads after he transferred his landline and was told the suburb did not have the infrastructure.

"My internet provider advised me that they could not move my internet service to the new number as no ADSL services were available from the Telstra Woongarra telephone exchange which services Innes Park, Coral Cove and outlying areas of Bargara,” Mr Strohfeldt said.

"I contacted Telstra who told me no new ADSL services would be available and I should look at other options like mobile internet.”

But despite Telstra claiming Innes Park had 4G reception, Mr Strohfeldt found it frequently dropped to 3G with "very mediocre download speeds”.

"As I use my internet connection for normal household connections for the family and as well as when I work from home, I need at a service that will offer at least a 300GB monthly download and at least 5MB/s,” he said.

"Telstra Mobile only offers 50GB per month with a very expensive top up amount of $10 per GB after the 50GB is reached and the speed is at 3MB/s if I am lucky.

"So by moving from one beach side area to another I lose my ADSL connection and more than triple my costs for a lower speed and less download capacity.”

The Innes Park area is scheduled for NBN connection between January and June 2019 - and in the meantime, residents are "between a rock and a hard place”.

Mr Strohfeldt said he contacted Hinkler MP Keith Pitt.

"I was told the Federal government couldn't tell Telstra what to do and that Telstra wasn't going to spend anymore money at the exchanges due to the NBN rollout,” he said.

"It appears to me the Federal Government's rollback of the NBN has affected the rollout and the internet service available in the Bundaberg area as Telstra owns the exchange infrastructure and are limiting ADSL connection and promoting high cost mobile connections.

"I just hope any business or others moving to the Bundaberg area do not want fast reliable reasonable cost internet services as they will be deeply disappointed.

"Our Prime Minister has quoted innovation agenda as a policy.

"I find this ridiculous as we have an internet service no better that a third world country.”

Mr Pitt said concerns like Mr Strohfeldt's were "not falling on deaf ears” and he was fighting for action from Telstra.

"My office is in contact with Telstra numerous times a week as we advocate for constituents who are having issues with that retailer. I have tabled a petition in parliament about this issue and I've spoken to Telstra direct,” he said.

"Clearly Telstra has made no move to connect further infrastructure for access to ADSL since the NBN roll-out commenced.

"However, Telstra has a community service obligation to customers and this is an issue that is not going away.

"The NBN roll-out across Bundaberg should have freed up some of Telstra's capital and I continue to call on Telstra to re-invest any savings back into the local network in areas where expansion is needed.”

Telstra said it was investigating the issue.

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