NZ telco networks recover after quake

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NZ telco networks recover after quake

Vodafone New Zealand has lifted rules that prioritised voice over data traffic on its network following Saturday's earthquake.

In a post to its forum, a spokesman said the telco had "reset network loading to normal levels."

"Following the earthquake in Christchurch, Vodafone has been prioritising voice traffic over data on the mobile network in the region," the spokesman said.

"However, with power supply being restored to most of the cell sites and with the network traffic levels being relatively normal, we have removed that prioritisation to allow customers to work remotely if and when they're able.

"Should there be any further disruption to power supply, we will need to reassess the situation but for now it's business as usual on the Vodafone network."

This morning, Telecom NZ used Twitter to tell customers that that a "small number of cell sites (CDMA or XT) [were] down in Christchurch... because of building closures, chemical spills, cable faults etc."

It earlier tweeted that it had "made around 300 payphones in and around Christchurch free for local, national and mobile calls. Hope this helps."

Two hours later, it reported officially that "over 1,000 calls" had already been made on the free payphones.

"Telecom asks people to use the payphones responsibly, by keeping calls brief and making important calls only," the company said in an official statement.

The company said it had "enough back-up generators and diesel to maintain core services, regardless of mains-power availability, and continues to attempt to access sites as soon as possible, subject to damage and civil defence requirements".

It also said its network business, Chorus, was "investigating physical damage to network infrastructure, with an emphasis on maintaining core parts of the network".

ISP Xnet said today that four Telecom cabinets and five DSLAMs were still impacted.

And IT services arm Gen-i was "prioritising supporting clients who are involved in providing essential services and infrastructure".

The announcements came as web hosts offered free servers to systems administrators and businesses affected by Saturday's earthquake.

NZ's emergency response department, Civil Defence, said that power had been restored "to 95 percent of the urban and rural electricity network.

"Damage is greater than initially thought and restoration times are being extended (2-3 days)," it said.

The 7.1 Richter-scale quake caused billions of dollars of damage and aftershocks continued to rattle the affected area.

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