INDEPENDENT NEWS

Many East Cape Phones Back On

Published: Fri 29 Sep 2000 09:42 AM
Many East Cape Phones Back On But Some Others At Risk
Telecom has now restored service to most of the 700 East Cape people who lost their phone lines on Monday night because of power cuts in the storm-hit region.
However the full restoration of phone services will depend on the progress local power company Eastland Network is able to make in restoring power across the region.
If power is not restored tomorrow a few customers in isolated regions may still be without a phone service, or lose one that has been operating.
Most customers in the Ruatoria region now have a phone service.
In areas surrounding Gisborne Telecom hopes to have phones back on to all but a dozen customers by nightfall, and to all customers tomorrow morning.
Some 100 customers are still without service this evening in Mahia, Nuhaka and areas surrouding Wairoa. Progress in restoring phone connections will depend on the restoration of the power supply.
Affected customers are likely to be without 111 emergency and mobile services.
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.
Earlier this week Telecom rushed staff from outside the region in to assist local workers heading for many of the area’s 40-odd hilltop sites to change batteries. However other sites remain inaccessible because of storm damage.
Telecom hopes to have an update on this situation on Friday afternoon.

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