Telstra customers unable to access fast wire-based internet in Dubbo will have to wait for the rollout of the National Broadband Network, the telco says.
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Celebrating Telstra Country Wide’s 10th year in operation, regional general manager Darren Smith said customers in parts of Dubbo more than four kilometres from a telephone exchange, such as Eastridge, would not get ADSL until the Government brought the NBN to town.

“Unfortunately for some of those areas most of the issues are around the fact that those houses are too far from the telephone exchange … it’s just not physically possible for those customers to get ADSL. There is a distance limitation on the product,” he said.

“So really the solution is wireless broadband via our Next G network or with this NBN coming they’ve got some options there.”

According to Telstra its Next G network covers two million square kilometres and 99 per cent of the population.

Mr Smith said he had not heard of complaints from people who were using wireless in the Eastridge housing estate.

“Most of the customers that I speak to have really good experiences with wireless, getting something like three megabytes a second, that’s 20, 25, 30 times faster than dial-up,” he said.

A spokesperson for NBN Co, the company established to roll out the network, could not say when the service would arrive in Dubbo.

“I can’t give you a time frame for Dubbo,” she said.

“When we have got a plan firm enough to announce we announce it then.”

Telstra Country Wide was formed in response to the howls of protest from the bush over the privatisation of Telstra. Twenty-eight regions were established in rural and regional Australia. Mr Smith’s NSW region stretches from Lithgow to Broken Hill.

“We’ve had a significant role in the improvement in services of regional Australia. Ten years ago for example we had dial-up internet services, very slow internet, and now we are 1000, between 10 and 1000 times faster with our internet services than where we were 10 years ago.”

During the past three years, 32 mobile towers, worth $14 million, have been built in the western region.

Earlier in the year the Australia Communications and Media Authority launched an industry-wide inquiry into a surge of customer service complaints. Mr Smith said Telstra had taken on board complaints regarding the telco’s customer call centres.

“We have heard the feedback on that and we are definitely trying to improve those services,” he said.

“We are doing a lot of work to improve that call centre experience, we have recently put in some new additions to our systems for customers to speak to consultants … earlier in the prompting.”

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