Millthorpe’s bi-annual market is a well-known success story and has provided both the shire and the school with visitors and funding, but ever since the markets have begun, the stallholders and visitors have been plagued with constant 3G network drop outs.
Following enquiries from the Blayney Chronicle, Telstra have announced that the tower in Millthorpe will be upgraded to a 4GX system by the middle of the year, a result that Millthorpe Market manager Rachel Booth, is pleased to hear.
“The committee has been asking for a solution for years and that’s a commitment that we’ve never been able to get before,’ she said, “If that’s the solution that will help handle the load that the Millthorpe Markets puts on it, well that is brilliant.”
Ms Booth was concerned not only for the impact the current loss of connectivity causes stallholders and visitors, but also the impact it has on the wider community.
“There is a also a ripple effect on to the businesses in town affecting those businesses who need to take payment throughout the day,” she said.
Telstra Area General Manager Mike Marom said that Telstra had plans to upgrade the tower in Millthorpe to 4GX by the middle of the year.
“We apologise to our customers for the congestion experienced on the network and understand the frustration this can cause,” he said.
“We have plans to upgrade infrastructure in the region to prevent this happening in the future.
“Millthorpe Tower will be upgraded to 4GX technology by mid-year which will increase capacity for the local mobile network.”
Fiona Harrison from Millthorpe’s Chocolate on Purpose said that during Sunday’s market they had to tell customers that they would have to either wait, return later or head to the nearby pharmacy and ask for a cash withdrawal.
“Every market it’s the same thing, they get so many people here that it overloads the tower and we end up losing customers,” she said.
Cashmere supplier Olivia Graham said that Millthorpe was the only market where she would bring along an old card crunching machine and then later on process the payment electronically.
“For other stallholders though people just gave up and in the end and they lost sales,” she said.
Visitor from Canowindra Laura Goytia said that she had found the entire situation at Millthorpe unbelievable.
“It’s just so frustrating that if you want to buy something expensive you have to go and get cash from somewhere.”