TOWN FURIOUS: 11 days without internet and counting
COOLOOLA Cove residents and business owners are tearing their hair out over an internet outage that has lasted almost a fortnight in the Cooloola Coast town.
Entering day 11 without internet yesterday, business owner Shirley Lawson said it had completely brought business to a standstill, causing immeasurable damage.
Mrs Dawson, who runs a real estate agency and newsagency from the same shop space at the Cooloola Cove Shopping Centre, still has no idea when the problem will be fixed, despite originally being told the outage would only last seven hours and contacting Telstra every day since.
"Everything in the real estate business is computer based - we've got people waiting to sign up properties," Mrs Dawson said.
"We couldn't sell lotto and couldn't do real estate."
An hour without Lotto sales on Monday alone resulted in the loss of thousands of dollars, she said.
The only act from Telstra has been a free 25GB worth of data for the business - but it was a too little, too late gesture that did not help the business return to normal day-to-day running, Mrs Dawson said.
The Sands Centre pharmacist Mark Cuckson said without the internet to help process orders through Medicare, much of his prescription work was having to be passed on to a Tin Can Bay pharmacy.
"We're definitely at a loss and it's a massive inconvenience," he said.
Cove pensioner Bryan Phillips, who has had no end of frustrations trying to organise an upcoming Gympie event with no internet, said it was affecting the entire town, which has only been given one answer from Telstra: "That there's an outage".
He believes the problem is being ignored because of the size of the town.
"What gets me is if this happened in Brisbane there'd be hell to pay," he said.
"It's because we're a little, small town in a little area - Telstra doesn't seem to be taking it very seriously."
Mr Phillip said the worst part of the experience had been a complete lack of communication from the telco giant.
"You get the same story over and over again," he said.
"(They need to) admit how long it will take to fix; then people know and are not sitting in hope."
It is not known how many Telstra customers of the Cooloola Cove population of more than 2600 have been affected by the outage.
Telstra has confirmed there is a problem, but not the area affected or the number of people currently without internet.
Telstra area manager May Boisen attributed the problem to "a power issue," but whether that was computer power, phone line capacity or electricity was not clear.
"A power issue is impacting some ADSL services in the Tin Can Bay area," Ms Boisen said in a written response, emailed at 3.34pm.
"We apologise to our customers for the inconvenience this is causing and assure them we are working as quickly as possible to restore services."
It appeared yesterday that much of Tin Can Bay and Cooloola Cove had been affected.