Spark told to lift game af­ter in­ter­net out­age

Piako Post - - FRONT PAGE - LAWRENCE GULLERY

Mor­rinsville Cham­ber of Com­merce is ask­ing telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions com­pany Spark to come up with a bet­ter backup plan af­ter a cut fi­bre line shut down the in­ter­net in the town.

A Spark spokes­woman con­firmed that a Cho­rus fi­bre line was cut at 11.20am on Mon­day.

It af­fected Spark broad­band con­nec­tions for cus­tomers in Waitoa, Manawaru, Mor­rinsville, Te Aroha and Mo­tu­maoho.

Some mo­bile cell sites were also af­fected and there­fore some cus­tomers had limited sig­nal in these ar­eas.

Cham­ber of Com­merce chair­man Nigel McWil­liam said he met with se­nior man­agers at Spark in Hamil­ton to ‘‘vent my frustration’’ and of­fer some so­lu­tions.

He sug­gested that Spark should have been ac­tively in­form­ing busi­ness of the prob­lem, in­stead of just of­fer­ing up­dates on its web­site, which no one could ac­cess be­cause there was no in­ter­net.

McWil­liam asked that Spark con­tact Mata­mata-Pi­ako Dis­trict Coun­cil and in­for­ma­tion cen­tres with up­dates, so the in­for­ma­tion can be passed on to peo­ple and busi­nesses.

‘‘They need to look at back sys­tems, ca­bles, ir­re­spec­tive of the pro­posed UFB in­fra­struc­ture.

‘‘We also should re­visit a cop­per land­line to the in­for­ma­tion cen­tre for com­mu­ni­ca­tion pur­poses, for emer­gen­cies, when in­ter­net [VOIP] goes down.’’

McWil­liam said an out­age no­tice was dis­played on the Mor­rinsville in­for­ma­tion cen­tre’s LED screen, which fronts the town’s main Thames St, af­ter get­ting web con­nec­tion from Voda­fone.

‘‘Spark got the mes­sage loud and clear at their door with a per­sonal visit and will be more pre­pared for such an oc­cur­rence in the fu­ture.

‘‘I told them their level of re­sponse did not meet the level of dis­rup­tion caused and they have to be more vis­i­ble as cus­tomers will walk af­ter to­day.’’

A Spark spokesper­son on Mon­day said the com­pany had spo­ken with Cho­rus, which was co-or­di­nat­ing the fix of their line, and had ad­vised the re­pair of the line was to be com­pleted by about 6pm.

The fi­bre line is Cho­rus’s re­spon­si­bil­ity and pro­vides con­nec­tiv­ity to more com­pa­nies than just Spark so other providers could have been af­fected.

A Cho­rus spokesman con­firmed that the line had been cut through no fault of their own.

He said that it im­pacted sev­eral hun­dred con­nec­tions.

There were tech­ni­cians work­ing on re­pairs through­out Mon­day af­ter­noon. Cho­rus apol­o­gised for the prob­lem.

Cham­ber chair­man, Nigel McWil­liam.

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