THE Manning River Times office has been inundated with concerned residents from the Taree West area who have now been without a phone line for almost a week.
It is believed that more than 1600 people are affected by the outage that was caused by a cable being accidentally cut in the area, by contractors of the NBN Co, last Saturday.
Most people are worried about the impact the outage will have on their elderly neighbours, with several reports of locals relying on their land line for their medi-alarm. When Telstra was prompted for information on the incident they were apologetic and assured they were working to have the problem fixed.
"We sincerely apologise for the disruption to services. The problem was caused by a third party cable cut," a Telstra spokeswoman said.
"It is a complex repair and we are throwing all our resources at it to restore services as quickly as possible."
According to a representative from the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, customers should speak to Telstra about their customer service guarantee and whether or not any compensation can be sought from their next bill.
In the meantime an interim service for a free diversion to customers' mobile phones is available to any customer who has contacted Telstra and anyone wanting further information or to arrange this should call 13 22 03.
"We have also reached out to customers who have indicated to us that they require priority assistance due to medical reasons," the Telstra spokeswoman continued.
"For those who do and who would like assistance we can provide them with an interim service."
The NBN Co also wished to assure residents that it would be assisting in the repair and restoration of local services.
"We apologise for the inconvenience caused to residents in Taree West by a cable cut during construction works to roll out the National Broadband Network," the spokesman said.
"Our contractors are working with Telstra to investigate the circumstances that led to the incident and are working to restore services.
"We anticipate services being back up and running in the affected area by the end of the week."
Anyone wishing to find out their options or for extra assistance on the matter can contact Telstra on the number above, or complaints can be lodged with the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman on 1800 062 058, with more information available on their website at www.tio.com.au