Wenhaston: Anger as phone line fault goes unresolved

Derek Newby is not alone in experiencing problems with his phone and broadband connection

Derek Newby is not alone in experiencing problems with his phone and broadband connection - Credit: Archant

PHONE company BT has revealed it must replace 130 metres of underground cabling in order to fix ongoing connection faults in a Suffolk village.

More frustrated homeowners have come forward to report problems with their phone lines after learning of retired builder Derek Newby’s recent communication breakdown in Wenhaston.

The deaf 88-year-old, who suffers from heart disease and angina, was this week told that his lost telephone and broadband service may not be restored until May.

It led other householders to report similar difficulties, including Ros Curteis, who has been without a landline for almost a fortnight.

She said: “The problem seems to be dotted around the village.

“We were told by our provider that BT said it was a fault in the exchange, which would be put right within three days. Those three days are already up.

“We have no idea how long it might be before the problem is fixed - and we have heard no explanation whatsoever from BT.

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“If we have problems with the sewers, we get letters telling us when the repair work will be done, so why can’t BT keep us informed?”

Another resident reported her phone line being down for the last two months, while Mr Newby’s neighbour discovered her connection had also been lost yesterday morning. Elizabeth Hill, who has also been helping Mr Newby contact BT, said: “Our problem started 12 weeks ago. The phone started buzzing but was still usable and we still had broadband. We replaced the phones but yesterday we lost both altogether.

“If the road needs to be dug up, then why all the stalling? For Derek its a lifeline. Having email is vital because he can’t hear well on the phone. It’s unreasonable and unacceptable.”

Engineers have been unable to offer a temporary solution, leading BT to announce that work needs to be done underneath the road surface in order to fix the fault.

A spokesman added: “We need to replace around 130 metres of underground cabling. It is a priority and doing all we can to see if this can be brought forwards.

“We have four other fault reports from people in the area affected.”

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