Home Support Centre Network Damages What should I do if I damage a cable?

What should I do if I damage a cable?

Report the damage

If you do damage our cables, cabinets or plinths or spot damage to our network, it's important to contact us right away rather than attempting to repair the damage yourself. Call us on 0800 463 896 option 2 or fill in the form here to report it.

If you do damage our network, please leave the excavation open and call us immediately so we can send our service technicians to repair. If you accidentally damage the cable sheath while potholing and there's no service loss, we'll repair the sheath with no cost to you.

Communications cables can carry potentially damaging laser light or voltages exceeding 100 Volts so please don't hide or attempt to repair any damage yourself. Even if there's no obvious wire or fibre breakage, moisture could penetrate an incorrectly patched cable, causing disruption to phone and/or broadband services.

If cable damage has been caused by irresponsibility, carelessness, or negligence, we will bill the organisation or individual responsible.

The average cost to repair a damaged cable is approximately $750, however repair costs can range from $200 to more than $200,000 so it pays to take care.

New Zealand's Work Safe Guide for Safety with Underground Services is a great source of information for anyone digging and working near buried utilities.

To report damage to our network, cut cables, damaged cabinets, or pillars, please call 0800 4 NETWORK (0800 463 896 option 2) or fill in the form here.

Damage to our network can have serious consequences

  • 111 calls can't get through to emergency services
  • Cellphone towers may be cut off from the network
  • Businesses lose telephone, internet, email, and EFTPOS services
  • Residential customers are similarly impacted but may also lose access to medical and security alarms

How to avoid damage to our network

Damage to our network is easily avoidable. We can provide information on our network at a specific location through beforeUdig.co.nz. We can also physically locate the cable for you and remain on site while you're excavating near high-capacity cables. A minimum fee of $174 plus GST is charged for all on-site cable locations. If it takes longer than one-hour, additional time is charged at $44 plus GST for every 15 minutes thereafter. Prices effective from 1st April 2024.

If the cables are a high-capacity route, we’ll provide a stand-over service to guide your digging at no additional charge as the cost is covered by the initial cable location fees.

Always physically locate the cable by careful potholing, hand digging or hydro excavation. And be sure to confirm there are no other utilities under our network too.