May 25 2013 Latest news:
An 88 year-old pensioner who is suffering from heart disease and angina and is profoundly deaf has been told by BT that his telephone and broadband service cannot be restored until May 8 when a major fault will be repaired. Mr Derek Newby who lives in Wenhaston has been unable to use his phone since Thursday of last week. This means that the broadband service he relies on is also out of order and he is now having to rely on relatives and neighbours to contact BT (where calls take anything up to half an hour) as he is unable to hear the very weak signals on mobile phones in the area. Two members of different departments of BT promised to return calls to a friend on Sunday but so far nothing further has been heard from them. Ironically the pole serving his neighbours and the rest of those living in Back Road is situated in his driveway!!
By Richard Wood
Thursday, March 14, 2013
BT connection could take two months to restore
A deaf 88-year-old who suffers from heart disease and angina has been told that his “lifeline” telephone and broadband service will not be restored for two months.
Derek Newby, of Wenhaston, near Halesworth, relies on his BT service for contact with friends and neighbours, but after losing the line completely on Thursday he has been told the major fault will continue until May 8.
The problem has not hit his neighbours and, to make matters worse for Mr Newby, the telegraph pole that serves the houses is in his driveway.
Mr Newby, a retired builder, has to place his hand on a nerve to help him hear, and with a poor mobile phone reception he is now relying on his relative, Miss Cunnell, 61, to help him contact anyone.
He said: “It is my lifeblood. Really I am incommunicado without that. Instead of my number I give out my email address, that is how people link with me.” As well as using his email to keep in contact with friends, Mr Newby has the phone line in cases of emergencies both for himself and neighbours.
Miss Cunnell and a neighbour have helped to contact BT, but, after numerous phone calls the estimated time to fix the problem moved from Tuesday to May.
Miss Cunnell, 61, said: “I feel when he is here I can’t go too far because he can’t contact anyone.” Mr Newby said that an engineer had visited to ask permission to work on the pole in January, but that nothing had happened since then and the line had been fine until Thursday.
After enquiries from the EADT yesterday morning, two engineers visited Mr Newby but the phone is still not working.
A spokesman for BT said that work needed to be done in the road to fix the fault and they were trying to bring the date “much further forward”.
They added they had sent an engineer today but had been unable to provide a temporary solution