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$1.4 Million Upgrade For Omakau

Telecom has begun work on a $1.4 million upgrade of the Omakau exchange which will provide its 400 customers in the area with access to the full range of Telecom services.

"This is a major investment in the local community and a sign of Telecom's commitment to meeting its customers needs," Ed Beattie, Telecom's Works Coordinator for Otago/Southland said.

"The upgraded exchange will use the very latest Nokia equipment and fibre optic technology.

"It means customers using the Omakau exchange will be able to use Telecom services like Call Waiting, Call Minder, Caller Display and Faxability.

"The work is being done as a two stage project. The first stage is the installation of a fibre optic cable from Alexandra to Omakau and the replacement of the Omakau exchange. This work has already started and is due for completion by the end of September.

"The second stage is due to start in March next year when fibre optic cabling will be installed out to St Bathans and around the area. This is due to be completed in September 2000.

"The first work residents will notice is the installation of fibre optic cables into Telecom's existing duct network from Alexandra to Springvale. Fibre optic cable will then be installed along the State Highway 85 from Alexandra to Omakau."

Omakau is part of a $3.25 million upgrade programme that Telecom is undertaking this year in the Otago/Southland region. The Heriot exchange upgrade has been completed, with the Clydevale and the Dipton exchange upgrades due to be finished in September. Telecom will also spend a further $1 million on upgrading the Hedgehope and Browns exchanges, due for completion by August next year.


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