Switch has residents in tangle

Clive Payne has been exasperated by efforts to get connected to the NBN. Picture: ALBEY BOND

Clive Payne has been exasperated by efforts to get connected to the NBN. Picture: ALBEY BOND

LESS than three weeks remain before the retirement of copper services in parts of Kiama commences.

However, there is still confusion and frustration among some residents regarding the switch-over to the National Broadband Network.

Residents in Kiama Downs and Minnamurra have less than three weeks to move their phone and internet services to the NBN before copper services are retired.

Copper-based services will be wound down from May 23.

Telstra area general manager Tricia Wilson said the countdown was now reaching the final phase for residents and businesses still using copper services in the first areas of Kiama to be connected to NBN Co's fibre network.

"Traditional copper-based phone, data and internet services will start to be switched off in the first parts of Kiama from May 23," Ms Wilson said.

"The last remaining customers in the first pockets of Kiama need to act to avoid any potential disruption to their landline and broadband services, so our message is very clear: 'please get your order in today'."

Ms Wilson said while there were less than 100 Telstra customers yet to move, many of those remaining were thought to be businesses.

NBN Co spokesperson Darren Rudd said the move to the NBN was not automatic.

"Home and business owners in the affected parts of Kiama need to move their landline phone, ADSL internet and Telstra cable internet services over to the NBN if they wish to continue using them."

Kiama resident Clive Payne runs a manufacturing business at Yallah.

The 59-year-old typically spends a day per week working from home.

Mr Payne made his first inquiry to get connected to the NBN in January, and had been frustrated by attempts to get connected.

"The sim card is ready to go, but they haven't been here to install the hardware," he said.

He said attempts to get NBN Co to his home had thus far failed.

"On five occasions they just haven't turned up [as scheduled]," he said.

Mr Payne said the situation was frustrating.

"You have to be there for the day for the [NBN Co] appointment, so you have to set aside a day for it."

Customers with an in-train NBN fibre order are exempt from copper disconnection until their NBN service is successfully installed.

"[For] the first time in Australia, 15 sites nationally will be disconnected from the copper network on May 23," an NBN Co spokesperson said.

"Kiama has one of these sites, [which is bordered by] Elanora Road, Princes Highway, Hutchinson Street and Boanyo Avenue.

"There are further disconnections planned in Kiama for later on this year on December 30."

A Telstra spokesperson said they were working to get Mr Payne connected as soon as possible, and investigating the reasons for the delay.

Maps of areas covered by the NBN rollout are available at nbnco.com.au/when-do-i-get-it/rollout-map.html.

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