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Darmsden: Majority of homes reconnected after long wait for phone and broadband services following lightning strike

PUBLISHED: 06:00 04 August 2014

Residents in Darmsden had to put up with internet and phone line problems for weeks. Photo: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Residents in Darmsden had to put up with internet and phone line problems for weeks. Photo: Paul Faith/PA Wire

BT has apologised after residents of a rural village were left without broadband and phone services for almost three weeks.

On the weekend of July 12-13 storms took hold of much of Suffolk but a lighting strike in the small village of Darmsden, near Needham Market, caused major problems for residents’ communications.

The damage meant five 60metre lengths of overhead cabling needed replacing as well as excavations to get to broken underground cabling.

Teacher Mike Hardman, 57, said the response by BT had been “disgraceful”. He added: “It’s not been good; I had someone ringing me up about compensation but I said I rather want my telephone line back. We phoned BT three times but didn’t hear anything; it’s not been good enough – it’s been quite a disgrace really.

“I’ve been trying to do work preparing for next term and I need the internet. They kept saying that they are working on it but I did not see anyone.”

A BT spokesman said the majority of homes had been reconnected but there were still reported faults remaining to be fixed.

“A lightning strike caused a significant amount of damage to cabling in the area which has affected some services, requiring extensive engineering works to clear,” he said.

“Lightning strike damage can be particularly difficult to resolve quickly as the damage often follows no logical pattern. Engineers have been working as quickly as possible to replace five 60metre spans of overhead cabling and also carry out excavations to locate damage and replace 10 metres of underground cable. All this cabling work has now been completed.

“We had around 20 reported faults from people affected by this incident. We have now restored services to all but three residual faults. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience whilst this repair work has been progressing.”

A man has been jailed for seven years and four months after sexually assaulting a woman who was on her way home after a night out with friends in Colchester.

A man has been charged with possessing an imitation firearm, with intent to cause fear of violence, following an incident in Ipswich on Thursday.

A breakdown recovery man, who fled an A12 accident he caused, sending a car into a tree and a bridge, has been spared immediate jail.

In the past week children across East Anglia exited school gates sheepishly clutching brown envelopes with a look of dread writ large across their faces.

The family of missing Corrie McKeague are “devastated” by the news that they may now never know what has happened to the 23-year-old RAF gunner, after police called off a 20-week landfill search.

A Sudbury man has completed a circumnavigation of Jersey in a kayak to raise money for a meningitis charity 20 years after he recovered from the life-threatening infection.

Four Suffolk Asda checkout operators who stole hundreds of items in a “skim-scanning” fiddle have each been jailed for 10 months.

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