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Canterbury earthquake - Telecom update 7.50pm

Disruption to landline and mobile services in Christchurch continues, and widespread power outages mean large parts of the network are currently working off backup power.

111 services remain stable and available and any issues connecting to 111 are likely to be due to network disruption due to damage, power outages or congestion. People trying to contact 111 should try again if they experience issues connecting. 111 calls are being prioritised.

Mobile performance has improved as people heed calls to limit non-essential mobile use. Many network sites are working on back-up power and this back-up power is limited as it is reliant on generators and batteries, so prolonged mains power issues will mean more sites are likely to go down over night as back-up batteries and generators run down.

Telecom is working to ensure key emergency response sites have mobile phone coverage and internet connectivity. Telecom and Vodafone technical teams are working together to ensure emergency service providers and civil defence have a clear understanding of where mobile coverage is available to assist with their activity.

Generators have been deployed to provide back-up power to cellsites in key emergency response areas affected by ongoing mains power outages. More generators and temporary cell sites are also being brought in from outside Christchurch to boost mobile coverage and capacity. Ongoing network restoration work will be subject to civil defence and safety requirements.

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

From 3am on Wednesday 23 February, 280 payphones in and around Christchurch will be have free calling for local, national and mobile calls. Free payphone calling will be live from.

People without power in their homes will not be able to use cordless landline phones, as base stations require power. If customers have analogue landline phones, which do not require power, they should use them instead.

We will provide regular updates as more information becomes available.

Our thoughts are with the people of Canterbury.

© Scoop Media

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