Hamilton tunnel fire takes out TelstraClear fibre

University of Waikato loses internet connection, students forced to study instead...

A burning railway train in a central Hamilton tunnel caused severe damage to one of TelstraClear's fibre-optic national backbone network cables at lunchtime yesterday.

The Hamilton fire brigade could not enter the tunnel to put out the blaze, as it had a live 110,000 volt power line running through it and the flames were too intense.

TelstraClear spokesman Mathew Bolland confirmed that the fire had caused disruption to the telco's service in the area, but didn't know how much damage had been caused or how many customers were affected. Bolland says TelstraClear has switched over to its secondary national network

The University of Waikato's data links with TelstraClear were affected, leaving the academic institution without internet access. Richard Nelson of the WAND group at the Computer Science department, says the train fire was in a tunnel in the centre of town, underneath Victoria Street and the Centreplace shopping mall.

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