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The main news on 28 April 2021:
An isolated Indigenous community in Queensland has again been left without phone lines or internet services for four days, AAP reports.
The Lockhart River and Aboriginal shire is without internet and phone services because of an infrastructure incident at the region’s provider in Batavia Downs.
The region has an extensive history of telecommunications problems which tend to happen in the wet season when the services are needed the most.
Earlier in February, about 800 Lockhart River residents lost landline, mobile and internet connections for more than a week because of intermittent power failures at the same site.
In 2018, the town went without contact with the outside world for six weeks after lightning struck a phone tower.
Lockhart River mayor Wayne Butcher said Telstra’s infrastructure doesn’t meet the demands for the region and the reoccurring incidents were dangerous for his community:
If it happened once every three years or five years you can understand, but the fact that in the last 18 months we’ve had three breakdowns … it’s getting ridiculous … or stupid, I guess, in one sense.
You can’t work, you can’t run your own business, you can’t do nothing without internet or phone service.
We’re supposed to have 3G but we’re flat out having 1G.
It urgently needs an upgrade. We’ve been talking to Telstra about an upgrade and I think they’ve negotiated some options on the table, so we’re just waiting to hear back what it’s going to look like, or how much it will cost.
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