MARIGINIUP residents believe they are being treated like “second class citizens” because of ongoing problems with phone and internet services.
Sue Myc has struggled with landline, mobile phone and internet coverage for nearly five years and recently experienced limited to no landline service for several months.
“It’s just been complaint after complaint,” she said.
“In the last couple of years it’s got really shocking.”
A Telstra spokesman said landline services were delivered to Mariginiup customers via radio feed.
“As trees in the area have grown over time, blocking the feed, this has impacted the set-up,” he said.
“A temporary satellite service has been installed to replace the radio link while a long-term solution is currently being scoped and expected to be built later this year.”
Ms Myc said she continued to experience problems with her landline after the satellite was set up, so she had it disconnected and had to rely on her mobile phone, which often had her running from room to room in her home for a signal.
“We are classed as a rural area but in fact we are 15 minutes from the centre of Joondalup,” she said.
“We appear to be treated like second-class citizens or at least not important enough to warrant any decent service.”
Resident Cindy Harding said her husband David needed to download research for his work as a college lecturer but was unable to do so using their home internet because they had a low data limit.
Mrs Harding said they were unable to use their landline because of static and paid $50 per month for a mobile service but had to go outside her home to use it, causing concern if there were an emergency.
“I’ve got plans in my head, I’ve got a key, I’ve got plans of how I’d get out of my bedroom,” she said.
“Just give us decent landline, decent mobile coverage and decent internet.
“We need to be able to communicate.”
Pet boarding business owners Sue and Tony Harring said the problems were costing them business.
Mrs Harring said their landline was down “every second month” and although a technician would come to restore it, the problem would re-occur.
“We’ve lost hundreds and hundreds of dollars of bookings,” she said.
“Sometimes you don’t even know it’s not working.”
Their Eftpos machine was affected so they had to switch to a mobile option.
“We couldn’t even take payments. It’s been a massive, massive problem,” Mrs Harring said.
Mrs Harring said they recently had a temporary line installed at their property, which they had to tape down to avoid tripping over but it stopped working a week and a half after installation and was now intermittent.They have resorted to advising customers via their answering machine to email due to the frequent phone problems.
“It’s been a nightmare, an absolute nightmare,” she said.
“I just think it’s so poor, you’re paying for a service that isn’t working.”
Other residents echoed complaints of constantly losing landline connection, as well as paying high prices for small monthly internet data limits, high mobile costs and limited |mobile coverage in their home.
Aaron Malloy said it took him seven hours to upload a six-minute video to the internet.
The mobile and internet problems were experienced from residents using various companies.
An email sent to Ms Myc from Telstra in late February, following her complaints about the landline service, cited a power supply issue at the Wanneroo exchange.
It said the cost of the repair was in the “six figure dollar range” so funding had not been approved and though they would seek alternative options there were currently no plans to fix the fault.
She received more than $850 credit because of the coverage issues.
But Telstra’s spokesman said it was planning to address mobile coverage as well as providing a solution for landline issues later this year.
“With regard to mobile network coverage in the area, we are planning to establish a new site in the Mariginiup area and are currently in the preliminary stages of securing a suitable location,” he said.
To improve indoor coverage in the immediate term, he suggested residents consider options including its “blue tick” devices and mobile smart antennas.
The National Broadband Network is expected to be delivered to the suburb between July and December 2018.