BUSINESS

Chorus announces planned service company cahnge

Thursday 25 June 2009, 10:43AM
By Telecom New Zealand
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Chorus, Telecom’s network access business, is reshaping its field force operations to deliver even better customer services, with plans to appoint a third service provider and make changes in some areas where the current service companies operate.

With months of contract discussions drawing to a close, Chorus confirms that it will continue its long-standing relationship with current service companies, Downer EDi Engineering and Transfield Services, and bring in a new provider, Visionstream.

These companies will manage the field technicians that work on Chorus’ behalf to install or repair network and telecommunications services in customers’ homes and businesses throughout New Zealand.

Visionstream will operate in the Auckland and Northland regions and intends to introduce a combination of employment and owner-operator opportunities to the workforce.

Other changes include a transition of Wellington operations to Downer, and new 10-year term contracts for all parties – a crucial change that will give service companies increased business certainty and confidence.

Chorus CEO Mark Ratcliffe said that New Zealanders are demanding better telecommunications services and as a result, Chorus network upgrades and maintenance work have shifted to high gear. “We want to strengthen our field force capabilities to make good on our promise to deliver a world-class network that can support ever-faster, better telecommunications services to more and more customers,” Mr Ratcliffe said.

The new agreements will enable Chorus to offer customers more flexible service hours, add efficiencies to the allocation of resources at peak-loads and strengthen the focus on quality.

Chorus shared its plans with the 2,500-strong field force earlier today, before the contracts are signed by senior executives early next week.

“One of our priorities is to communicate openly with the field technicians who work on our behalf, and make sure that they have all the information they need,” said Mr Ratcliffe.

“Their skills and knowledge are vital to our business and we want to continue the great work we do together, particularly with large-scale programmes like the deployment of faster broadband cabinets and local loop unbundling underway.”

Over the next few weeks, service company personnel will have the opportunity to find out more about the planned changes in their area. This will include further details on the incoming service company and plans to ensure a coordinated and well-managed transition.

“Most importantly, we have put in place a comprehensive plan to minimise the impact to our customers during the three-month transition. We hope to complete the handover as quickly as possible, so they can enjoy the benefits of our new field force operations.” Mr Ratcliffe said.

ENDS

Chorus is an operationally separated Telecom business that manages and provides equal access to the local network. Chorus works with all phone and internet companies to build a world-class telecommunications network that will bring more choice and better services to all New Zealand consumers and businesses.