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Telco networks affected by Canterbury earthquake

Computerworld New Zealand staff | Feb. 22, 2011
Telecommunication companies have provided updates on how their networks have been affected by the 6.3 magnitude earthquake that struck Christchurch just before 1pm local time Tuesday.

To minimise the stress on the network and to conserve back-up power we ask people to only use their phones for emergency calls.

We are working to maintain services and adding extra capacity to the mobile networks. Our primary objective is to restore communications to emergency services, civil defence and health and safety organisations.

TelstraClear 4pm

- Our Christchurch call centre has been evacuated and all staff have been sent home. This means customers trying to contact our call centres may experience delays.

- Widespread power outages remain in Christchurch.

- As a result around 100 of our cabinets are running on back up power. Our voice services are still operating, except where there is damage to phone lines, individual premises or power is lost to premises

- Our core infrastructure is operating

- Around 25,000 of our cable modem customers are without services due to loss of electricity

- Customers without power are advised to use corded phones rather than cordless phones to be able to get voice services

- TelstraClear mobile customers are advised to use text messaging to contact friends and family in Canterbury

- TelstraClear has set up two hardship lines for Christchurch and wider Canterbury customers. Residential customers requiring special assistance, such as free landline to mobile call diversions, can call us on 0508 24 24 11. Business customers can call 0508 24 24 12 should they need assistance with their services.

Telecom 3.20pm

While much of Telecom's network in Christchurch remains operable, there is significant congestion and due to widespread power outages much of our network is currently working off backup power.

To minimise the stress on the network and to conserve back-up power we ask people to only use their phones for emergency calls.

111 services are stable. The Christchurch 111 call centre has been successfully diverted to Wellington, and a back up site in Palmerston North is on standby if required.

We are working to maintain services and adding extra capacity to the mobile networks.

Our primary objective is to restore communications to emergency services, civil defence and health and safety organisations.

In addition, due to the loss of power in customers' homes, wireless landline phones will not be working as base stations require power. If customers have analogue non-wireless landline handsets they will still work without power, so they are encouraged to use those for landline calls.

Telecom has moved to enable free calling from 280 payphones in and around Christchurch for local, national and mobile calls. Free payphone calling will be live from 3am on Wednesday 23 February.

 

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