Wenhaston: Anger as villagers experience further faults with BT lines following months of disruption

Derek Newby who lives in Wenhaston has suffered months of problems with his phone and internet servi

Derek Newby who lives in Wenhaston has suffered months of problems with his phone and internet services - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk village plagued for four months last year by phone and internet faults has faced another bout of connection problems in the last week.

Last April, BT promised to find ways to provide a better service to customers in Wenhaston, near Southwold, where some had been without telephone and broadband since the start of the year.

But the problems returned on Wednesday for Patricia and Julian Allen, who went weeks without a phone line and internet connection during the network failure last spring.

BT blamed bad weather for last year’s problems and said that cables had been damaged and manholes flooded over the winter. The company said restoring the service had taken longer than expected but managed to eventually restore connections to all affected customers.

The Allens, who live in Back Road, lost connection again this week and were initially told not to expect a fix until the middle of next week, but yesterday afternoon an engineer was sent out to restore their line.

Mrs Allen said: “Again, we couldn’t receive or make calls and we had no broadband. We had to use our mobile phones and the reception is not good.” Mrs Allen said she knew of at least two other villagers who had lost phone and internet connection.

Meanwhile, Liz Hill, who formed a protest group in Wenhaston because she was concerned about neighbours being without phone lines, said that BT had still to answer a list of questions put to the firm last year.

The list had been compiled by villagers in advance of a meeting, which was set for November 2013 but cancelled and rescheduled for April this year, when BT’s regional director was handed a hard copy of the questions, which included what plans the company had to ensure extra capacity could be achieved without compromising existing services if more houses were built, and why messages providing updates on the faults were left on the answering machines of faulty phone lines. Mrs Hill said she was still waiting for a response and added: “This is yet again a serious malfunction in communication from one of the largest communication providers in the UK.

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“The company makes lots of promises, shows up in front of a crowd to ‘talk the talk’, yet when it comes to an actual response, things freeze up. One assumes the strategy is to avoid answering at all and hope we forget or give up.”

BT said it will be addressing the issues raised by residents as soon as possible. A spokesman said: “We are aware of two fault reports in the area which don’t seem to be linked. Engineers have attended the area this afternoon and repaired both lines to restore services. If anyone is still having problems they should report to their service provider so that it can be investigated.