This week, a telecommunications outage has had widespread ramifications for local businesses and residents.

Some businesses were unable to use electronic payment facilities and for others, phone lines had been impacted.

Mobile phone users who are on the Telstra network were also impacted during the outage.

As frustrating as the service failure has been, it could have some small silver linings.

For those of us dependent on electronic purchases, the outage serves as a reminder of the importance of cash.

It also puts to bed any notion that, in the foreseeable future, we could survive being a cashless society.

The disruption was to enable crews to conduct maintenance works to upgrade the Doyle Street phone tower, behind the post office.

Telstra said the works will enable access to its next-generation 5G coverage as well as improved 4G service.

However, community concern has centred around the lack of consultation about the works.

Telstra has admitted the outage wasn’t notified to its Narrabri customers. It has also acknowledged the matter will need to be investigated.

The disruption has also served as a reminder of how dependent our lives are on telecommunications.

Communicating – even electronically – is an essential part of our day-to-day lives.

The purchases we make at businesses, the online meetings for work, and the many phone calls and text messages we make and receive during the day depend on connectivity.

At a time when technology is as advanced as it is, and when people can receive all types of digital reminders, it almost seems improbable that such a communication breakdown could happen.

During emergency situations, text messages can be delivered to targeted locations.

The shops we visit, the purchases we make, the services we use … all are able to send us messages at all hours of the day.

However, somewhere a system has failed to ensure a telecommunications company communicates an important notification like a planned network outage.

That such a thing could happen in 2022 beggars belief.

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