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Telecom Making Progress On East Cape Phones

Telecom Making Progress To Restore East Cape Phone Services

Telecom is hoping to have phone services restored to around half of the East Cape people who are without them by the end of today.

Up to 700 customers in the area lost phone services overnight as a result of power cuts in the storm-hit region.

But Telecom hopes that number will drop to under 400 by the end of today, provided the power supply situation does not deteriorate.

Local power company Eastland Network has told Telecom it hopes to have electricity restored to all areas within 24 hours.

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 bought staff into the region from Auckland and worked into the night to reach some of the 40-odd sites to change batteries.

Weather conditions in the area have stabilised and Telecom staff hope to reach many more of the hilltop sites today, however others remain inaccessible because of storm damage.

Affected customers are mainly in the Nuhaka, Mahia and Wairoa areas, as well as Ruatoria and rural areas outside Gisborne.

They are likely to be without 111 emergency and mobile services.

Telecom hopes to have an update on this situation by the end of today.

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