22 Sep 2009

Telecom's problems 'hurting Northland business'

2:45 pm on 22 September 2009

Northland's Chamber of Commerce says Telecom's industrial problems are hurting business in the region.

Many Telecom customers have lost phone, internet or Eftpos services in Northland because of faults, and some are waiting weeks to have them fixed.

Tony Collins of the Chamber of Commerce says that that's affecting small businesses in particular - including the many Northland people who work from home online.

He says that because of its isolation Northland depends for its competitiveness on reliable phone and IT services.

Security staff guarding new contractors

Telecom says it is sending security staff out with some of its new contractors fixing urgent faults because of incidents of intimidation.

Line engineers in Auckland and Northland are refusing to accept new terms that would make them owner-operators for Chorus's new contractor, Visionstream.

The chief executive of Chorus, Mark Ratcliffe, says security staff are going out with some workers in Whangarei to ensure emergency faults are fixed.

He says some Visionstream workers have been approached while working in some areas and told to leave.