Wenhaston: Village continues to wait for BT to repair cable connections

Derek Newby is just one of several residents in Wenhaston who have been unable to use their telephon

Derek Newby is just one of several residents in Wenhaston who have been unable to use their telephone for several weeks. - Credit: Archant

A FRUSTRATED group of Suffolk villagers are still no closer to being reconnected after their phone and broadband services were cut off.

Neighbours in Wenhaston have been told on three occasions in recent weeks that work was due to begin on repairing a 130 metre cable running underneath the village near Halesworth – and on three occasions the work has stalled. Phone company BT has blamed “blockages” in the cable for the repeated hold-ups, but villagers are unsatisfied with the explanation and routine apologies.

Engineers arrived in Wenhaston at the beginning of last week but found blockages in the underground cable route which had to be cleared before repairs could start. They returned on Thursday with the intention of starting work at either end of the faulty stretch of cable and reconnecting services that evening.

Neighbours thought it would spell the end of lengthy connection problems which have left some with only patchy mobile phone coverage as a means of communication – but they were disappointed. Derek Newby, 88, who suffers from heart disease and angina, has been without his telephone and broadband service for three weeks and was initially told the problem could continue until May.

Liz Hill, who has also lost telephone and broadband services, said BT had confirmed a fault affecting several neighbours on March 9, when she was told repairs would involve digging up the road.

Since then, the work has twice been postponed, with the latest failed attempt leaving neighbours exasperated. This week Mrs Hill received a text message explaining that BT’s infrastructure division, Openreach, had advised a survey be carried out before repairs begin – but not until April 7.

She said: “Now the work has been delayed for BT to decide what work needs to be done. A number of people who rely on their phone and broadband connection have been completely cut off.”

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A spokesman for BT said it had been an extremely difficult and time-consuming repair and despite extensive works they had been unable to clear faults as planned.

“We completed the replacement of the damaged section of cabling, but the lines were still showing as faulty,” he said. “Following further tests we have identified further cabling replacement works needed, due to additional faulty sections of cabling, which were previously undetectable.

“We are urgently completing a full survey and have a provisional date of April 7 for this, but are doing all we can to bring this forward.

“We would of course wish to again apologise for the extended nature of this work and the inconvenience caused.”

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