Poor phone service puts veteran’s health at risk

Headshot of Geoff Vivian
Geoff VivianMidwest Times
Dave Inall relies on Telstra for his phone and internet connection.
Camera IconDave Inall relies on Telstra for his phone and internet connection. Credit: The Geraldton Guardian, Geoff Vivian

A heart patient who lives in the S-Bend Caravan Park, South Greenough, said Telstra mobile reception had been poor and intermittent since last Wednesday evening and believes it is the same for eight of his neighbours.

Dave Inall said he manually changed his phone to 4G and was still able to get only one “bar” of reception.

“I can go outside, go up on the hill where I can see clear vision of the tower and I only get two bars,” he said.

“I believe eight other people around me are in the same condition.”

Mr Inall said his family had phoned him six times since Wednesday and connected for a moment before dropping out, as though he had hung up on them.

“This is rubbish,” he said.

“By Commonwealth law Telstra must make sure heart patients like myself have constant communications.”

He said TV stations and Western Power would always acknowledge a break in transmission and inform the public when it was expected to be fixed.

“I went to the Telstra store in town and they said there had been an outage somewhere up near Dongara,” he said.

Mr Inall said he also used his mobile phone for his internet connection.

“If I lose my phone, I lose contact with everyone,” he said.

“I am a Vietnam veteran and I feel I am treated like a second- class citizen because I live in the regions.”

Telstra regional general manager Boyd Brown said there was a technical issue with 3G services from the local base station that was impacting mobile coverage in the area. He said a technician attended and replaced damaged equipment on Friday morning, and the outage did not impact the 4G mobile services.

“All services have now been restored, but we will continue to monitor this base station,” Mr Brown said.

“We apologise to the local community for any inconvenience during this period.”

He said in-building coverage may be improved in some circumstances with the installation of a Telstra Mobile Smart Antenna.

Additional information can be found at telstra.com.au.

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