A SURVEY is being conducted to quantify how much money Telstra earns from the Northern Rivers and how many locals are considering changing service providers in the wake of the local job losses.
Depending on the results, the five-minute survey being conducted by the Northern Rivers Social Development Council (NRSDC), maybe used to build a business case against Telstra's job cuts in the region.
NRSDC CEO Tony Davies said his small not-for-profit organisation's annual Telstra spend alone was around $50,000, "and we know a lot of other businesses spend a lot more".
He said long-term the survey could also lead to bulk purchasing of services in the region to bypass Telstra altogether.
"That's happened in banking recently and it's leading to the major banks lifting their game in regional areas," Mr Davies (pictured) said.
Mr Davies said NRSDC decided against changing service providers after Telstra axed its Grafton call-centre two years ago but the Goonellabah decision meant they would be revisiting that decision.
"We're really concerned about the impact of loss of local employment providers in this region. It has long lasting economic and social consequences," he said.
"We want to find out how much income Telstra earns from business and individuals in our region; whether these customers are concerned by Telstra's decision to close the Goonellabah call centre.
"If so, are they considering a shift to another provider; and whether there are issues, concerns or barriers that prevent people from changing providers.
"We are also interested in seeing whether there is a critical mass of people and organisations that are willing to back a local provider."
To participate in the survey go to www.nrsdc.org.au/
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