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Canterbury Earthquake - Telecom Update 11am, Fri 25 February

TELECOM MEDIA ADVISORY: Canterbury earthquake - update 11am, Friday 25 February

The state of Telecom’s network has improved overnight with the continued restoration of mains power. All Telecom exchanges are operational with a combination of mains and generated power, as are the majority of mobile sites. Overall the Telecom network is up and working, the focus will now move from sustaining the core network to diagnosing and restoring localised faults.

Telecom’s 60 generators continue to provide backup power to network sites still without mains power.

Our focus remains on assisting the people of Christchurch. Telecom’s team on the ground and across the country is working around the clock to provide every support possible.

The nationwide response to Telecom’s campaign for analogue landline phones has been incredible, with more than 3,000 phones now collected and being made ready for distribution. Phones are being donated all over the country through Telecom retail stores to be distributed to people in Christchurch. These ‘old fashioned’ corded analogue phones plug straight into a jack-point and don’t require mains power. We are asking people to drop spare analogue phones in to any Telecom store during retail opening hours.

Around 11,500 people have used the official txt-to-donate fundraising service, supplied by Telecom, to donate to the New Zealand Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Appeal. Users of all New Zealand mobile networks can text 4419 to make an automatic $3 donation to the Appeal. To ensure 100% of the donation will make its way to the Appeal, Telecom is providing this service free-of-charge

We encourage New Zealanders to include a message of support for the people of Canterbury in the body of these SMS which can be publicly broadcast.

More than 20,000 calls have been made from 260 free Telecom payphones across Christchurch. Two additional payphones are also now stationed at Pioneer Stadium and Burnside High School welfare centres. A third free payphone is on its way to Christchurch from Auckland. Free WiFi spots are also available at Telecom Riccarton Mall, Café Zero (Cashmere Rd), and the Westpac Centre (Addington).

Telecom customers in Christchurch can have their landline number diverted to another number for free. To do this, residential customers can call us on 120 and business customers can call us on 125. A relief package from Telecom Wholesale is enabling other telecommunications retailers to support their affected home and business customers as well.

REQUEST FROM CHORUS:
Network company Chorus has asked Canterbury residents who are experiencing disruption to their landline or broadband service, to contact the company that provides their internet and phone services directly to log a fault. This will help to ascertain the impact of non-core network damage, enabling Chorus to restore service as quickly as possible.

ADVICE FOR PEOPLE IN CHRISTCHURCH:
• Change your voicemail message to let callers know the time, date and their location and, if possible, alternate contact details to provide some reassurance should mobile phone batteries go flat given the difficulties with power supply.

• Minimise the use of mobile phones, and use text messages instead of calls when possible to free up the network for emergency response workers and to minimise the drain on backup batteries and generators.

• Where possible, use corded landline phones that plug directly into the wall as these do not require power.

• Customers with friends or family with a prepaid Telecom mobile can call 0800 32 32 32 and top up their prepaid credit on their behalf.

For previous updates, please go to: http://www.telecom-media.co.nz/

ENDS

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