Families and businesses were affected by an internet outage on Wednesday last week.

The Ultrafast Fibre outage cut services to almost 4000 customers after an underground cable was reportedly damaged.

The outage hit businesses and homes in Stratford, Eltham, Inglewood and Hāwera, while New Plymouth stayed connected.

While for many families it meant a day of finding something else to do, with television streaming services, online games and social media all out of action, businesses had to deal with more than just boredom.


Megan Dimock, of Dimocks 100% in Stratford, said when she arrived for work on Wednesday morning, she discovered they had no connection.

"I checked all our systems looking for a fault, but soon realised the fault was external, and bigger than just our business premises."

She called her fibre provider, Spark, soon after 9am, and reported the issue.

"At 9.45am we had a text from them, informing their customers of the issue, and they did try and keep us informed during the day, but we were still left without any connection for the entire working day."

While the connection was restored around 8.30pm on Wednesday, Megan says they effectively lost a day of trading.

"While were still able to do some sales, if people had cash for example, we probably only took about 15 per cent of the amount a usual Thursday in April would bring in."

Customer service is paramount to the team at Dimocks 100% and Megan says all the staff tried their best to minimise the disruption to their customers.

"We have some customers who come in each month to top up their mobile phones. With no connection, we couldn't even print off their top-up vouchers, so we were sending them to the shop next door to buy them as that shop isn't on fibre.

"The customers still came back to us to ask the staff to help them actually type the top-up in on their phone, and we were more than happy to still provide the service, even though we couldn't make a sale on it."

With the Easter weekend sales looming, Megan said the lack of internet also made it hard for them to check potential price drops for customers.

"In the lead up to a sale weekend, customers come in and start pricing up the deals. Normally we can give some indication of what sort of offers might come out, but with no emails coming in, or access to the catalogues online, we couldn't do that."

Megan says she is glad the outage didn't last any longer.

"We would have had to come up with an alternative, which would have been costly, and taken time. Luckily for us and our customers, we are moving to a cloud-based system in the future, so once that is done, these outages won't affect us in the same way."