Telecom will offer free nationwide landline calls on
Christmas Day to make up for widespread broadband outages
that affected up to two thirds of its customers last week.
The faults left hundreds of thousands of customers without
internet access for up to 19 hours on Tuesday and Wednesday,
less than a fortnight after an unrelated broadband outage
late last month.
Telecom said it would offer free landline to landline calls
within New Zealand on Christmas Day as a goodwill gesture
following the outages.
The free calls will be available to all fixed-line customers,
not just those affected by the broadband outages.
Telecom also announced it would establish more than 120 free
Wi-Fi hotspots at dozens of popular holiday destinations
around New Zealand this
summer, with details to be confirmed this week.
Telecom retail chief executive Chris Quin said the company
wanted to show customers it understood how frustrating the
outages had been.
"This is our way of saying 'we're sorry, we know how
important it is to you to stay connected, and we want to make
it that much easier for you to connect with family and
friends this Christmas'.''
Mr Quin said it was a meaningful gesture for home broadband
customers, all of whom had a Telecom fixed line phone service
The free Wi-Fi holiday hotspots had been planned before the
outages, but Telecom said it wanted to inform broadband
customers because those planning to be away from home on
Christmas Day might not be able to take advantage of the free
For business customers who were particularly affected by the
outages, Mr Quin said Telecom had well-established processes
for dealing with customer concerns on a case-by-case basis.
He said the company had undertaken a thorough technical
review of what went wrong, and was confident the same
problems would not recur.
"These outages reinforced just how critical a consistent
broadband service is for our customers. We are totally
committed to regaining their full confidence.
"Telecom has invested significantly over recent years in our
core network to ensure its capacity and quality. So as you
can imagine we are extremely disappointed - as we know our
customers are - with the recent problems and we are
determined to prevent them happening again.''
Mr Quin said internet service was down or "materially
degraded'' for about 19 hours over two days, with two-thirds
of the downtime in the early hours between midnight and 6am.
The main fault occurred during a software upgrade on a
broadband server on Tuesday morning. Flow-on issues affected
the network from later that night until about 10am the next
Last month, the company ruled out compensation after an
unrelated fault with a fibre-optic cable left about 25,000
mainly residential customers without broadband.