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Angry chorus at phone delay

By kelli.hooks@age.co.nz, Kelli Hooks


Lansdowne Park residents are finally getting landline phones on copper lines today after months of waiting for a new fibre-optic system to be operational.

Lansdowne Park director Trevor Marshall said about $100,000 had been spent installing fibre-optic cable for the new $16 million care centre and serviced apartments, after recommendations from Chorus, only to find out the system would not be operational until March.

"The problem is that the fibre option is being laid everywhere but it's going nowhere," Mr Marshall said. "They shouldn't be telling people to put it in unless it's ready to go."

Mr Marshall said he had spent at least 40 hours trying to get answers from Telecom and Chorus.

"Since opening, [in October ] we've been trying to find people that will take responsibility and that has been one of the problems. We keep getting lots of promises but no delivery and the truth is that Telecom aren't geared up for fibre-optic at the moment and as a result of that they are delaying," he said.

Telecom was not responsible for the fixed line network which is owned and operated by Chorus, spokeswoman Joanne Jalfon said. "We provided affected customers with free mobile phones as a goodwill gesture prior to Christmas, until we can confirm fixed network supply with Chorus. Telecom appreciates how frustrating affected customers may be feeling and is doing all it can to resolve this matter as quickly as possible with Chorus," Ms Jalfon said.

Mr Marshall said about five residents in the new buildings had not been able to get a landline, which had been difficult for them during Christmas.

"It's been extremely frustrating for us because our residents have been really dependent on having phones to connect with their families," Mr Marshall said.

Chorus installed copper lines yesterday in an effort to resolve the problem, which has cost Lansdowne more money.

Mr Marshall said they would be switching to fibre-optic as soon as it was ready to go live.

"They [Chorus] are hoping it will be live by the first of March but I wait with bated breath," he said.

Chorus spokeswoman Melanie Marshall said the company was working with service providers to get its fibre-based phone and internet services up and running.

- WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE

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