Hundreds of town residents cut off from phone and internet after vandalism (From Bromsgrove Advertiser)
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Hundreds of town residents cut off from phone and internet after vandalism
4:20pm Monday 22nd October 2012 in News
HUNDREDS of Bromsgrove residents have been left without a telephone landline and an internet connection after an incident of vandalism.
Customers across Bromsgrove, including in Belbroughton, Wildmoor, Dodford, Fairfield, Bournheath and Sidemoor, first realised and reported the problems on Wednesday evening, (October 17).
Openreach, the network company that looks after the local network on behalf of all communication companies, says vandals deliberately cut two underground cables on the Church Lane and Church Road junction, near to St John’s Church.
It is understood the cables were cut to either steal the metal, or as part of a malicious attack.
A BT spokesman said the priority had been to restore the service to those affected as quickly as possible and explained engineers had been out working to replace the cable, with jointing due to take place tomorrow, (October 23).
The spokesman said it is hoped some of the services would be restored after this, however - due to the nature of the repairs - customers will have their services restored gradually.
Bromsgrove police are investigating the incident, and a cash reward has been offered to help trace the offender or offenders.
A police spokesman said attempted thefts of cables puts criminals lives at risk, and can result in major widespread disruption.
Anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area is asked to call police on the non-emergency number 101, quoting incident number 82-N-191012, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
• Meanwhile, residents have contacted the Advertiser to complain about the customer service they received following last week’s vandalism.
Peter Tuck, who lives in Yew Tree Lane, said he and his Fairfield neighbours called BT immediately after realising they were down last Thursday.
Mr Tuck said he then made seven phone calls to BT’s customer services department in the days following, and it was promised someone would call him back to inform him of the problem and when it would be repaired.
After BT failed to return the calls, the frustrated resident contacted the Advertiser today.
“I have spoken to residents who all had the same problem contacting BT,” he said.
“BT prides itself on its communications, but it has none.
“We were left in the dark.”
A BT spokesman said around 900 people reported faults to the company.
The spokesman said: “We suffered an attack on our network which caused loss of service to hundreds.
“Engineers will continue working until the last customer is reconnected.
“Those affected by the fault should contact their own communications service providers to arrange diversions to mobile phones or an alternative land line to avoid missing important incoming calls while the repairs are taking place.”
Bromsgrove District Council has also been suffering following last week's attack on the telephone network.
Council leader Roger Hollingworth told the Advertiser that they had been down since Friday.
After investigating the problem it was found to be an external issue, not an internal one, which means it is highly likely the council's telephone problems are linked to the Church Lane and Church Road junction's vandalism.
Callers to the council hub are being redirected to Redditch, while the problem is fixed.