Telephone cable theft leaves Norfolk village out of touch

People in Saxlingham Nethergate have been left without telephone connections or broadband access aft

People in Saxlingham Nethergate have been left without telephone connections or broadband access after cables were stolen. - Credit: ARCHANT } NORFOLK 2003.

More than 160 people in a Norfolk village are without telephone lines or broadband access after underground cables were stolen by criminals.

And BT says some people in Saxlingham Nethergate might have to go without those services until well into next week, because of the complexity of reconnecting the cables.

Some 163 fault reports have been recorded with BT and the telecommunications company says its engineers are working as quickly as possible to restore services.

BT says the cables were stolen from around the Church Hill area of the village, although it is not clear when the crime happened.

While BT says the first customers reported problems on Tuesday morning, Jeff Price, who lives in the village said his problems began at about 11pm on Monday night. He said: 'Many of the people I know are affected. There's a lot of people who work from home in the village and they need a phone line to do that. The mobile coverage is not good. I can barely get a bar on my mobile.

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'It's frustrating because I have a mother who lives in the USA and my wife's parents live in Lincolnshire and we've got no way of contacting them from home.

'There's elderly people in the village too. I know of one person who has recently had a couple of strokes and it's important that we can get hold of the emergency services.'

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He said his attempts to ask BT what was going on had met with contradictory answers about when the services might be back up and running.

But a spokesman for BT told the EDP that some customers might have a lengthy wait before they were reconnected. He said: 'There was a cable theft in the area which has caused severe damage to our underground network. Engineers have been on site dealing with that, but there is a considerable amount of work to be done.

'They need to put in replacement cabling and then they have the job of reconnecting everyone who has been affected. That will be a gradual process and it is likely to be well into next week before everyone gets their service back.'

The spokesman added that people would need to contact their own service providers to find out whether they would be eligible for compensation.

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