Some disturbing news yesterday (disturbing for my colleagues and myself anyway), TelstraClear have ended their contract with Astute (Cabletalk Group) for field services in the South Island. article all I can find so far, but they don't say who has picked up the contract.

It is Downers, although there is nothing on their website about it, nor is there anything on the TCL website.

Downers of course, along with Transfield (ex Areva, ex Alsthom) are exclusive service partners of Telecom. this raises some interesting points:
  • How are Telecom going to feel about sharing their field services contractor with TCL (their largest competitor)?
  • Does this indicate a new sense of cooperation and understanding between the big two in NZ? - yeah right!!?!
  • Did Astute winning the maintenance contract for Vodafone have any bearing on TCL's decision? (Lets face it, Vodafone and TCL haven't been getting on too well lately)
  • What about the rest of the country? Astute is currently the exclusive service partner for TCL nationwide, are TCL going to tender the work off on a patch-by-patch basis?
I feel for my friends and colleagues in Christchurch. I am hoping that Downers will see what a great crew they are and take them on.

I will miss the TCL work too, even though it's only about 15% of my activities, but I have built a great relatioship with the TCL engineers and project people.