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Willy Campbell outside the Julia Creek library

Willy Campbell outside the Julia Creek library

Adding a page to the book of advocacy

By Maria Simmons, Telstra

With only two flights a day into the Queensland town of Julia Creek (approximately 660km west of Townsville), Telstra Networks General Manager, Martin Blennerhassett, recently found himself with some time to spare before an important meeting with the Qld Regional Councils.

Martin was in town to attend the meeting with Telstra Business Development Manager, Russell Paten. While he was waiting, he decided to head over to the local library and catch up on some work.

Once there, Martin decided to do a quick ‘check-in’ with the librarian, Chris, and ask her about her experiences with Telstra. Martin says he was surprised when she mentioned the library’s slow internet speed.

“The building is located fairly close to the local exchange, so I was surprised that they were experiencing issues with speed,” he says.

“I suggested that she run a speed test which showed they were only achieving download speeds of 5Mb/s despite being on ADSL2+.”

Chris said due to limited internet access in the remote areas, locals often travel up to 100km just to use the publicly available computers and internet at the library.

Martin quickly realised that issue would not just impact Chris’ computer system but would also be affecting anyone who logged on there. He offered to look into the problem to see what could be done to improve the service.

This was when Martin turned to his colleagues in Networks, Telstra Countrywide and Customer Service Delivery for help.

Local technician, Willy Campbell, and Technical Expert, Mick Moore, were assigned to the case.

By working closely with the McKinlay Shire staff, they carried out a number of service checks which eventually revealed the main issue to be the library’s 10-year old modem.

Willy sourced a replacement modem and returned to Julia Creek to install it and test the service.

Martin says the new modem restored download speeds at the library to more than 18Mb/s - much to Chris’ delight.

Chris emailed Martin to say thanks: I’m so thrilled with what you did for me, in fact I’m thrilled with the whole group of people concerned. Nothing seemed to be a hassle and I can’t sing enough praises about you and your boys. Thanks so much. If ever you're in Julia Creek area again please call in and have a cuppa. 

Last updated
13th July 2015