Telstra reconnects copper service in NBN connection stuff-up

Telstra has reconnected the copper line service for a customer it thought it had connected to the NBN fixed-wireless service but left disconnected for close to three months.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

Telstra was forced to reactivate the copper fixed-line service for a customer who was supposed to be connected to NBN Co's fixed-wireless service, but never got connected.

As National Broadband Network (NBN) services, both fibre, are rolled out into new areas, it is the responsibility of the retail ISPs to approach customers to sign up for a new service, and to get those customers over from the traditional copper network service within 18 months of when an area is declared to be ready for service.

But some residents are finding that their existing fixed-line service is being pre-emptively deactivated before they have had a chance to get onto the NBN.

Nagambie, Victoria, resident David Voight ordered an NBN fixed-wireless long-term evolution (LTE) service through Telstra on July 31, but waited until September 17 for the wireless antenna to be installed. After the installation, Telstra had promised to activate the service within seven days, and on September 18, it deactivated his fixed-line phone and internet service prior to the connection of his wireless NBN service.

Telstra was a no-show, Voight told ZDNet, and he was left without any fixed service for 10 days before Telstra reconnected his copper line. Telstra is not required to disconnnect the copper line for NBN fixed wireless services, and it is unclear why Voight's service was disconnected.

It took Telstra over 120 days from the initial ordering date, numerous calls from Voight, and an approach for comment from ZDNet before Telstra finally activated Voight's NBN service last Friday.

A spokesperson for Telstra said that it was a problem with the ordering process.

"Unfortunately, one of our consultants missed a step in our order process. This led to the order having to be re-submitted. And we apologise for the delay this caused," the spokesperson said.

"It's taken far too long to get Mr Voight connected and we apologise."

The incident follows reports in November that some residents in Tasmania were having their fixed-line services disconnected well before their NBN fibre connection activated.

In that instance, the ABC reported at the time that Telstra had been prevented from reactivating the copper service in those NBN areas, and residents have been issued with fixed-wireless services in the interim until they are able to get onto the NBN.

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