Representatives from Telstra, including the Northern NSW Area General Manager Mike Marom visited the Bilpin Fruit Bowl on Friday, March 13 as a part of a bushfire recovery tour.
The Telstra team also visited the Colo Heights Café and the Settlers Arms Inn at St Albans, connecting with the community impacted by the bushfires, and to discuss restoration efforts, disaster recovery, coverage concerns and product inquiries with the community.
Mr Marom said the Gosper's Mountain fires was the biggest fire front that Australia has had in recent bushfire memory and the communities they were visiting had all been damaged quite substantially.
"We thought it was a good idea for our team to come out ... engage with locals and understand some of their challenges and issues, what we can do to help," he said
"As well as provide some advice and information on what they can do to better prepare themselves in the event of future instances where we are going to have natural disasters. "It has been a really good opportunity for us to come out here and talk to some of the locals."
Mr Moram said Telstra had not lost any sites and that it's mobile network had been fantastic
"The challenge we had ... is continuity of power," he said. "Having any extended periods of time where we lose AC mains becomes a challenging situation ... fortunately we have a range of options.
"On a mobility point this area has fared well but it's been very challenging from a fixed line point of view. Some of the areas we are visiting that are still going through the restoration periods.
"One of the things that is coming to the forefront during this tour is peoples reliance on connectivity and how important it is to stay connected during this periods.
"Highlighting our responsibility about what we can do to ensure that we do have continuity of services, particularly for those more marginal communities that might face periods of isolation." Mr Moram asks that anyone still experiencing ongoing issues and have yet reported them should do so to Telstra on 132203.
Federal Macquarie MP Susan Templeman said that she was pleased that Telstra had agreed to come and meet directly with customers, many of whom have had a troubled time with mobile and phone lines.
"At both Colo and Bilpin, many people who had raised ongoing issues with my office came along to speak directly to Telstra representatives and I know there are many others who indicated they were going to be making the most of the opportunity, including in St Albans tomorrow.
"Hopefully some of the technical issues that people have been faced with can be resolved quickly.
"There are bigger infrastructure issues that will be beyond this Telstra team's ability to resolve, like those problems being experienced by the Bilpin and Mountain Lagoon RFS in the lead up to and during the fires.
"However, it's really important that Telstra hears the level of frustration community members have.
"The lack of service has been particularly worrying for older and more vulnerable people, and those trying to run a business from home.