16 Mar 2017

Expert flown in to restore Vanuatu phone services

4:00 pm on 16 March 2017

An expert from Australia was flown in to Port Vila yesterday to restore phone services in Vanuatu.

Phone

Photo: RNZ

Telecommunications Vanuatu has apologised for the disruption to fixed and mobile services

It said lightning strikes and power outages caused the network to become unstable.

Correspondent Len Garae said phone services had been worsening over the last week and most phones were not working yesterday, causing people to respond angrily on social media.

He said it showed Vanuatu was still reliant on overseas expertise.

"They had to get an expert especially from Australia and they went as far as hiring a plane to get him over to sort the problem out and fix it. We continue to depend on expertise from the outside. We do have local expertise here but in this particular case it was so drastic and it was so sudden they had to rush in someone especially from Australia."

Mr Garae said people had become dependent on their mobile phones, and the outage was very disruptive to people and businesses.

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