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COMMENT: Why The Federal Government Needs To Legislate To Stop Woeful Telstra Service

By David Richards | Sunday | 27/12/2015

Today many homes are dependent on broadband, not for gaming or watching movies as Telstra like to spruik, today broadband is as much about the truly automated house, it's about networked sound systems, security and IP based devices, which is why the Federal Government needs to step in and introduce laws that force Companies like Telstra to take action immediately to fix broadband services when they go down.

This week it really came home to me when Telstra went down on the 23rd of December in Mosman NSW, at first I thought it was a problem with my router or the old Telstra Motorola cable modem, it was not until I did a search of the Telstra site that I discovered that Telstra was not only down in Mosman NSW, but the problem would not be fixed till 19.00 hours on the 29th of December. 

One whole week to fix a broadband problem. 

This is a Company that rakes in billions in both revenues and profits every quarter, this is also the same Company that is now spruiking their services for medical health in the hope that your local GP or your local hospital or pharmacy can deliver services over a Telstra broadband network.

Click to enlarge

On the surface it appears that Telstra does not want to invest in having to pay penalty rates during a holiday period for someone to fix a network problem, that is either a failure in an exchange or the cutting of an external connection to the exchange.

Either way it is gross negligence by Telstra that they cannot fix a problem in under a week, even Christmas week.

Today IP connectivity is a key part of our lives and Telstra has no qualms spruiking everything that hangs off an IP network in the hope that they can make a dollar. But putting in place 24/7 support 52 weeks of the year appears to be another thing at Telstra. 

What I believe is needed is a Federal committee to investigate the obligations of organisations like Telstra, TPG, Optus or Vodafone when a broadband service fails. 

To have to wait a week to regain supply in a main metropolitan suburb is appalling and downright dangerous for people who have invested in IP based technology in their homes. 

My broadband supply is cable as result; I have no Wi Fi connectivity resulting in several devices not working. 

They include a Sonos system, my smart TV services, my security system, my recently installed Telstra TV box, my Foxtel iQ service which is connected to an IP network, unlike the prior boxes was unable to deliver recorded programs.

In other word's my Christmas was utterly stuffed up by Telstra which is not great with four grand children snapping at your heels. 

What the Federal Government needs to do as part of Malcom Turnbull's innovation agenda is put a structure in place that forces carriers of broadband services to respond immediately, when services go down.

Organisations like Telstra need to be threatened with heavy penalties if they fail to respond in a fair and reasonable time frame.

A committee has to be formed made up of industry professionals who are able to set fair and reasonable time frames for repairs to be conducted, whether it be the cutting of a cable by a third party contractor of the failure of equipment in an Exchange or across a network.

Right now Telstra should be banned from supplying life threatening services such as what is outlined in their medical services initatives because at the end of a broadband cable a life could be in desperate need of help.

Then again the small print in any Telstra contract could absolve Telstra from any liability if someone died as a result of a broadband connection being cut off to a home network. 

As you you will see from the below Telstra chart services to home phones, ADSL, cable and Foxtel services are affected in Mosman so if your life depends on Foxtel and you are looking at installing a Telstra medical service, I would invest in a back up plan. 

Click to enlarge

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