By Oliver Lees
Woodend resident Carsten Voss had to get creative to keep his business ticking after storm damage uprooted a tree and disconnected his NBN service last month.
“It was around two or three in the morning when the tree fell down and ripped out the cables,” Mr Voss said.
“I’m self-employed and working from home, so I’ve been driving with my phone to the top of the hill… to send emails and invoices.
“It was very annoying and doesn’t seem fair that people have to wait several weeks [for reconnection], for us it took like a month.”
Adding to his frustration, Mr Voss said several NBN technicians had attended the site but didn’t communicate clearly how or when the issue would be resolved.
“I called my provider and they told me NBN would have a plan for me in 48 hours,” he said.
“They sent a technician a week later. He took one look at it and said he couldn’t fix it and would escalate the issue, but nothing happened.
“Last week someone came and cut up the tree and flipped the box back into its hole, so it’s currently working, but it’s being protected by a single plastic bag.”
Immediately following the storms, NBN released a blog post stating that localised power outages and infrastructure damage was complicating network recovery.
“Some complex repairs are required, which in some cases involves rebuilding parts of the network,” the statement read.
“As a result, we have increased the number of specialist technicians and we will be deploying even more crews in the coming days and weeks to further ramp up our recovery efforts.
Last week an NBN spokesperson told Star Weekly their team of technicians continued to work “around the clock”.
“The impact of the storms was significant and arguably the largest of a natural disaster to have hit the NBN in Victoria,” they said.
“[Our] best efforts are made to communicate with communities and update them on progress.”