Lightning struck the Skytower a dozen times on Wednesday, frying the transmitter used by IHUG for delivery of their Satnet internet feed. Ihug issued a brief statement which said "The storm was so severe an evacuation notice was issued to Tower staff. Ihug managed to switch over to a separate transmitter, but service was affected to North Shore and some central Auckland users." IDG's own Satnet service remained out for most of the day on Wednesday, but traffic was later re-routed across ISDN lines allowing resumption of service late on Wednesday. It is understood that many CBD users are still without an internet connection, and IHUG technicians are flat-out trying to re-route their connections.
There is an upside however. The damaged transmitter was replaced with a new transmitter IHUG was planning to put into service of part of its satellite television delivery. According to IHUG staff, this should result in better transmission rates than the old transmitter once necessary re-tuning, scheduled to be carried out over the next couple of weeks, has been completed.