Ben Dannecker is a Telstra NBN customer and in January, his connection dropped-out. Neither party could explain why and refused send out a technician, but six weeks later, after speaking to the media and both state and federal MPs, his connection has been restored.
Mr Dannecker has lived in the Shoalhaven for the past 30 years, and been a Telstra customer for just as long. In September 2018 he switched to the NBN, with Telstra still as his provider. But less than six months later his NBN dropped out.
"I have been offline since," he said. "In the meantime I have attempted to have my NBN service restored but have encountered extreme difficulty in achieving this simple fact."
To say he's frustrated is an understatement. When Mr Dannecker's connection dropped out, the first thing he did was attend the Telstra store in Nowra.
"The staff displayed absolutely no interest in solving any NBN problems," he said. The staff instead advised him to call the generic Telstra hotline. After numerous calls, Mr Dannecker said a Telstra representative told him the NBN was the "only avenue of resource" to regain his internet connection.
After seeking support from a local computer technician, Mr Dannecker said the problem was related to both the NBN wall-mounted box and the Telstra modem.
Knowing what the problems were, he again called both Telstra and the NBN a total of 10 times, but said he's only connected with a representative seven times. In each of those seven calls, Mr Dannecker said both Telstra and the NBN refused to send a technician to his home to assess the problem.
"Telstra is the actual beneficiary of my monthly payments for my phone and internet connection," he said. "I believe Telstra has a case to answer in the matter."
However, Telstra told the South Coast Register Mr Dannecker's connection fault were the responsibility of the NBN.
"Once services are fully restored, Telstra would seek to provide the customer with a credit on their account for the time experienced without an active service," a spokesperson said.
"For any Telstra customer experiencing internet issues, in the first instance they should contact us on 13 22 00 and register a fault. We would then investigate and work with NBN where appropriate to restore services as quickly as possible."
The NBN Co refuted Mr Dannecker's claims he contacted them several times, with a spokesperson stating they were made aware of Mr Dannecker's issue on February 23, by Telstra.
"This was the first time we were made aware of the issue," they said.
"NBN Co resolved our portion of the issue on the March 2. This followed working with Telstra who had provided a new modem the previous day. NBN Co is only one link in the delivery chain that provides broadband to homes and businesses, with many factors impacting the experience of consumers."
Despite Mr Dannecker stating he has been without internet for weeks, NBN co said they resolved the issue within a week.
"There may have been other issues with the retailer, however NBN Co’s involvement began on the February 23 and concluded on March 2," the spokesperson said.
Frustrated by the ongoing lack of assistance, Mr Dannecker approached South Coast MP Shelley Hancock, Gilmore MP Ann Sudmalis and the South Coast Register about the problem. The MPs put him in contact with the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, who promised to send a technician to his home this week.
On Thursday morning, a technician visited Mr Dannecker's Kinghorne Street home and restored his connection.
"I'm so happy," he said. "But that's not the point. The point is I have been without internet for six weeks and nobody was willing to help.
"This is about asking why re-connection has taken so long."
The NBN Co spokesperson said the TIO does not send technicians, and in this case NBN Co was not contacted to resolve the issue.