NBN contractor Silcar has cut internet connections to nearly 30 percent of a Queensland town after slicing through a major cable while laying down fibre for the National Broadband Network.
Silcar staff on Tuesday damaged a cable located outside a telephone exchange in Goodna, causing up to 2400 businesses and homes in the area to lose internet and phone connections.
Goodna has a population of around 8000.
An NBN Co spokesperson confirmed Silcar was behind the damage and apologised for the inconvenience caused.
“Unfortunately one of our contractors, despite checking relevant maps, accidentally damaged a cable,” the spokesperson said. “Telstra was contacted immediately and responded quickly, but it will take some time to repair.”
Neither Silcar nor Telstra returned request for comment by the time of publication.
A sign on one of two service stations in Goodna
Ipswich City councillor Paul Tully told iTnews that despite being personally being a supporter of the NBN, the project was fast losing favour with residents of the area.
He said the council met with NBN Co last week to address a range of complaints from residents about the way NBN contractors were rolling out the network, including reports of verbal abuse, ripping up and not restoring footpaths, noisy work on Sundays and blocking roads and driveways.
“I’ve been an enthusiastic supporter of the NBN from day one, but the way they are rolling it out in the suburbs is absolutely disgraceful,” he said.
“They’ve lost a lot of goodwill. For most of the residents here the NBN hasn’t gone live yet, there’s still a lot of catchup. They really need to lift their game and ensure their contractors deliver a lot better.”
Tully said Telstra had advised it would take three to four days to restore all the lines cut by Silcar.
Those affected include residents of the surrounding Bellbird Park and Chimera suburbs, with the issue concentrated mainly in Goodna town centre.
Updated 7:00pm 17/4: A Telstra spokesperson said four technicians were working on the issue. Full service was expected to return by close of business on Thursday.