Wireless Street: Where the internet is “diabolical”

Wireless Street residents Rod and Kerri Daw with their circa-1970s landline infrastructure, held together with gaffer tape. Picture: ADAM HOLMES
Wireless Street residents Rod and Kerri Daw with their circa-1970s landline infrastructure, held together with gaffer tape. Picture: ADAM HOLMES

IT is with a sense of irony that the roads surrounding Wireless Street, Kangaroo Flat, all have access to the National Broadband Network.

Residents on the southern side of Wireless Street itself, however, do not even have access to landlines.

Since January, residents say the internet has been effectively non-existent – after a new Telstra pit was installed down the road.

Kerri and Rod Daw were told they would have to wait for the NBN to arrive before they could access fixed line internet again.

The NBN has been up and running on the other side of Wireless Street for months. But on the southern side, no date has been set.

“It started to get a lot worse in October 2016, and then from January it’s been diabolical,” Mrs Daw said.

“I’m on the phone to Optus every second night. All they want to do is sell us plans for the NBN, but it’s not even available yet.”

The couple reset their internet connection dozens of times a night just to do basic online browsing. Most nights, it’s a fruitless endeavor.

Mr Daw points at a small pit in front of their house, where the old infrastructure is visible under a concrete plate. It is held together by gaffer tape, and wires are exposed.

“When it rains, the internet goes completely,” he said.

Two doors down, and it’s the same situation.

Yes, it really is called Wireless Street.

Yes, it really is called Wireless Street.

Fellow Wireless Street resident Mel Allen relies on wireless mobile internet for her household, frequently going over the cap due to the lack of fixed line internet.

Just last week she was on hold to Telstra for nine hours trying to find a solution.

“I’m on the phone every day trying to get it fixed,” Ms Allen said.

“I’ve had technicians come out here, and they say the old infrastructure is cracked, just like straw.

“I was told nine of us are without internet at the moment.”

The situation was the same over and over. Even elderly residents who rarely access the internet have had enough of the problem.

But a solution might be just around the corner.

Telstra area general manager Steve Tinker said technicians visited the site on Thursday, prompted by questions from the Bendigo Advertiser.

“Before we handed the infrastructure to NBN we completed some work in the pit in question,” he said.

“We visited the site today to assess and check the work and will have a permanent fix in place tomorrow (Friday).

“I’m sorry for the inconvenience and the disruption to services this may have caused.”