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Telecom Working To Maintain East Cape

Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2000 19:58:38 +1200

Telecom Working To Maintain East Cape Phone Services


Telecom is working into the night to maintain telephone services to up to 800 customers that are at risk in parts of the storm-hit East Cape.

High winds have bought down power lines and local power company Eastland Network estimates electricity may not be restored to the whole region for two to three days.

Telephone services to more isolated parts of the East Cape are relayed via radio sites which run on electricity. There are battery back-ups, but these have a limited life.

Telecom has bought staff into the region from Auckland and is working to reach some of the 40-odd sites to change batteries tonight.

But dangerous conditions may make it impossible to reach many others until the weather conditions and access to hilltop sites improve.

Up to 800 customers may be affected overnight, mainly in the Nuhaka, Mahia and Wairoa areas, as well as on the Napier-Taupo Road and in Ruatoria.

Affected customers are likely to be without 111 emergency and mobile services.

Tonight Telecom estimates that it may take up to 48 hours to get telephones on in some areas – but staff hope to reach many areas tomorrow.

Telecom hopes to have an update on this situation by noon tomorrow.


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