Loss of internet on Macleay Island on the weekend has cost local businesses thousands of dollars in lost income.
Manager of Pub Paradise Daniel Johnston said there was no phone, internet, TAB and Eftpos from 8am on Saturday May 12 until 12.30pm on Monday, May 14 costing the hotel thousands of dollars in lost business.
He said that Saturday was Punter’s Day when hundreds of people came to the hotel to bet on horses.
“With the TAB down, the punters just came in a left. We had to send staff home early and cut our losses,” he said.
Mr Johnston said staff were also unable to be paid and have had to wait for several more days before pays could be made.
“There is a flow on effect,” he said.
Mr Johnston said the disruption started the previous Tuesday when the phone dropped out, coming back on Friday before dropping out again on Saturday.
Telstra Area General Manager May Boisen said the outage was due to a hardware issue.
“This disrupted ADSL services for some customers on Macleay Island and was resolved today (Monday). We apologise to our customers for any inconvenience caused and assure them we worked as quickly as possible to restore their services,” she said.
Resident Margaret Smeaton said she too did not have internet for three days and did not have any forewarning this was going to occur.
“The supermarket couldn’t take Eftpos and the chemist had no Lotto running and it’s not like we could go anywhere like the post office or library because they were affected too,” she said.
She said she was fortunate that she had printed a land sale contract before the internet went down and was able to finish the sale.
Ms Smeaton said the Macleay Island community facebook was filled with similar stories.
Writer Kerrie-Anne Chinn said the loss of internet would have affected her ability to work but for the use of a hot spot through the phone. She said in the time she went five gigs over her limit at additional cost.
“I’ve also had to put back Skype meetings until later in the week,” she said.
Resident Vicky MacDonald said she had not had internet or a landline for two weeks, causing her to be unable to do phone banking, pay bills, check ferry times and confirm work and gig commitments. She has also fallen behind with assignment work and study resources.
“It has disrupted our routine enormously. We’ve had to find other ways to get messages out without knowing if they have hit the mark,” she said.
“We are a remote town and we get that this is part of it. The worst of it is that I haven’t been able to do online Sudoku to calm me down,” she said.
Cr Mark Edwards said loss of internet was an ongoing problem on Russell Island but new to Macleay Island. He said a new tower was being built on the southern end of Russell to relieve the load of the tower at the other end.
“It’s hard on businesses when this happens. It’s really not good enough,” he said.