The Grey Power Magazine is a prime national news source for its readers – New Zealand men and women over 50. Circulated quarterly to more than 68,000 members, Grey Power Magazine reports on the policies of the Grey Power Federation, and the concerns of the elderly, backgrounding and interpreting official decisions which affect their lives.
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An update on landlines In a response to many concerns about the future of copper landline telephone system, Grey Power invited general manager of Networks at Spark New Zealand Colin Brown to talk to the board meeting in Rotorua in February. His response covers those concerns BY COLIN BROWN Book Shelf Celebrate New Zealand authors by adding these three books to your book collection. Each book has a distinctly New Zealand flavour and is a worthy addition. Edmund Hillary A Biography by Michael Gill ($59.99, Potton & Burton) As as 22-year-old medical student Michael Gill met Sir Edmund Hillary and went on to accompany him on nearly all the Hillary expeditions. As close friends for more than 50 years, the author brings fresh insights into the legend of Sir Edmund Hillary. A fascinating read. 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Entries close April 30 2018. The migration of the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) has sparked some concerns for many people, particularly where media have incorrectly reported that it will mean people will lose their landlines overnight. Spark would like to reassure customers that the landline is not going away any time soon. And you will not have to change anything to keep using your landline, as the equipment in your house stays the same. What we are doing is changing the technology at our end that makes landlines work. Of course Spark would like you to take up its new services like Fibre or Wireless Broadband as we believe these products are the future, but if you choose not to move you don’t have to. For the most part, nobody will notice any difference to the service at all – people’s devices should continue to work as they always have, although there may be some older third-party services such as dial-up EFTPOS machines that may have to be upgraded. The upgrade will happen over a five NZ GREYPOWER MAGAZINE » MARCH 2018 33 to seven year period and across different phases as we bring in the new core network elements. We’re keeping the upgrade very much behind the scenes to ensure there’s as little interruption as possible, other than a couple of minutes during off-peak times when the cut-over happens. The new system, the Converged Com- Why munications Network give (CCN), brings half together all the different systems we have their equipment if they are concerned in touch your with their service profits providers for into a single platform. It is a more resilient digital technology that will underpin with digital voice technologies – many landline and other voice banks? services well into monitored alarms now support new that it’s older and may not be compatible tech- the future. The main change is that we simply shift your connection from the local exchange to your roadside cabinet, which INVESTMENT RETURNING: some point – currently, the traditional 6.5% corded landline gets to what it needs 9.5% from the equipment at the exchange. This Zero Fees turns your landline calls into a signal the new network can understand. Where it gets slightly interesting is during a major power cut. Telecommunications has always relied on power at won’t change on the new system, the line power will still be there, but it will draw power from the cabinet instead. It is worth remembering common modern cordless handsets require power still and not operate once they run out of power. One of the key learnings following the Kaikoura earthquakes is that we were able to get the mobile network up and running faster than the copper landlines. So we are encouraging everyone to have access to a mobile phone, charged and ready to use in case of an emergency. The only action that may be required applies to those who may be sight or hearing impaired and who have a medical device or alarm connected to their home phone. Most EFTPOS terminals/monitored alarms/fax machines are perfectly capable of using new communications standards like VoIP or run over a data c onnection. Because there’s a huge range of different and old technologies out there, we can’t guarantee every single one of these will work without issue, but where we discover issues we’ll be working with vendors to fix them if possible. However, we recommend people get nologies like fibre and wireless. We’d like to reinforce that landlines are not going anywhere, phone numbers are staying the same, and as a customer, you will not need to do anything differently. We’re recommending people think about having a mobile and USB battery charger as a backup for emergencies. In recent events like the Kaikoura earthquake the mobile network was more reliable, and we were able to restore it more quickly than the landline network. To go on our mailing list and to register, email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone John 022 411 0020 Why give half your profits to the banks? ALL COMPLY WITH FMC ACT. DONOT SEND MONEY. NO INDICATION OF INTEREST WILL INVOLVE AN OBLIGATION OR ACOMMITMENT TO ACQUIRE THE FINANCIAL PRODUCTS. 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