NBN struggles for main street businesses

Erin Hoad and Nigelle-Ann Blaser are two of five shop owners on Ness St in Clare.
Erin Hoad and Nigelle-Ann Blaser are two of five shop owners on Ness St in Clare.

As many businesses and households begin to switch to the National Broadband Network, there’s a number of people and business owners who might yet miss out. 

This includes a line of five shops along Ness Street, just off the main drag in Clare’s central business district. 

Shop owners Erin Hoad, of Urban Fringe, and Nigelle-Ann Blaser, of Miss Gracie Taylor’s Pre-loved Books, don’t know if they will be able to connect to NBN. 

This uncertainty has already impacted on Ms Hoad’s business and will soon impact Ms Blaser’s.

Ms Hoad relies on a landline and internet for her business to run. 

She made a move in February from Old North Rd to her current premise on Ness St and has since had to deal with the impact of the inability to connect to the NBN or simply ADSL. 

As far as Ms Hoad is aware, none of the cable work completed out the front of her shop has NBN availability – and she can’t get an answer as to its accessibility. 

“What I want to know is where does that leave us when the NBN is switched on,” Ms Hoad said. 

At the time of the move, Ms Hoad had her landline diverted to her personal mobile until she could reconnect. 

During this time she lost a number of messages and the phone diversion has been cut off, with promises to reconnect. 

This hasn’t occurred. 

As an added kick in the face, Ms Hoad and the other four shop owners face the Telstra Exchange building. 

Time spent by Ms Hoad and Rob Mader, of NAR Design IT and Business Services, has resulted in hours upon hours of work to get no answer. “It has been a real handball situation. (It would be good) just to have the NBN up and ready so that our businesses can be up and continuing to run.”

At the moment, Ms Hoad is relying on her personal phone and wifi connection from Ryan Yorke’s chiropractic business, who has kindly allowed the business owners to tap into his service. 

“I have been promised to have ADSL on twice now but it hasn’t happened. I don’t even know what is going on anymore.” 

Ms Hoad said it was a basic service that should be available to all. 

She is of the understanding there was a number of people and businesses in the town, and area, who were also in pockets where the NBN wasn’t available. 

Ms Blaser said despite the fact she doesn’t require phone connectivity, the internet was a vital part of her business. 

Fed up with the situation and unsure what is going on, Ms Blaser said she just purely wanted some answers so she and fellow shop owners could implement change. 

NBN were contacted but unable to respond at time of going to print.