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Southampton homes lose telephone and Internet connections
10:12am Wednesday 3rd October 2012 in News
HUNDREDS of Southampton homes and businesses have been left without phones and Internet connections for more than a week – and BT bosses admit they have no idea when the service will be back up and running.
Shop owners say the problem is costing them cash while worried elderly residents have been left without their “lifeline”.
Both say they are unhappy at the apparent lack of information from BT about what has caused the problem, and when the service will return.
The telecommunications giant said phones went dead in Swaythling, Mansbridge and Woodmill nine days ago because of a faulty cable. Not all lines in the area, which stretches at least from Mayfield Road to Wide Lane on the northern edge of Southampton, have been affected, but many have been out of action ever since.
Chris Mitchell, who runs newsagents Greenwoods in High Road, said he is having to turn customers away.
He said: “No one knows what is going on. It is costing money. We can’t process any payments via card.
“Old people in houses behind my shop don’t have phone lines. They probably don’t have mobile phones. If there’s an accident you can’t phone people.”
Janet Ticehurst, who lives with husband Brian in Mardon Close, almost a mile from the fault, said: “There are lots of elderly people around here and we really rely on our phones. We’re paying for a service we’re not getting, but they haven’t even told us what the problem is.”
BT customers who lodged complaints were initially told the fault would be fixed by Saturday, but then received messages saying there would be a further delay.
Other residents unable to complain because they have no mobile say they have been left completely in the dark.
Last night a company spokeswoman, who said there had been 150 reported faults, said the firm needs permission to install temporary traffic lights on Portswood Road for the work to be completed safely, and does not yet know when that will be possible.