Hutchison Telecom has agreed to install underground telephone cables in a bid to protect the views of some of the most scenic areas in Clear Water Bay. The move comes after an outcry among residents that 203 poles, erected last month to increase mobile phone coverage, were an eyesore. Seventy-eight poles have already been taken down. After a meeting with the Lands Department and Sai Kung District Council last week, the phone company said the cables would be installed underground or relocated. A company spokeswoman said the numbers had not been finalised because it was still waiting for approval from the Lands Department. She said: 'Hutchison has proposed ... relocating some of the poles to 'shield areas' and painting them green. The company will also convert some of the telephone poles to underground ducts.' The 203 poles had been along sections of Clear Water Bay Road, Tai Au Mun Road and Tai Wan Tau Road. They are about 6 metres high and 40 metres apart. A University of Hong Kong electrical and electronic engineer said phone poles were an outdated way to extend a phone network. 'It is unusual to see and in fact difficult to find telephone poles in Hong Kong,' he said. 'In Hong Kong, Hutchison has the licence to build its own fixed-line network, in addition to their mobile networks. 'However, I would be very surprised if they still use telephone poles - the performance and quality are bad for their network. They may use the poles temporarily because erecting them is quicker than digging up the ground.' The phone company has insisted the poles were being used only to extend mobile phone coverage in Clear Water Bay and its country park, and not to link land lines or internet connections. Residents have generally welcomed the plan but would like to see all cables taken underground.