Water causes big phone problems in Silsden

Caroline Whitaker, who has been left with no phone landline for days (7024058)

Caroline Whitaker, who has been left with no phone landline for days (7024058)

First published in News

WATER damage to a cable knocked out dozens of phone lines in Silsden.

A BT spokesman confirmed that its engineers had been working to restore people's services, and aimed to have them all re-connected by the end of last Thursday. (June 12)

She said that the loss of service was not related to broadband internet improvement works, which are currently being undertaken by BT Openreach in Kirkgate, Silsden.

She added: “We are very sorry for the loss of service in the Silsden area. This was caused by water damage to an underground cable.

"Engineers excavated the area, replaced around 60 metres of cable and re-connections were well underway.

"All services were expected to be restored by the end of June 12 at the latest, as engineers continued the painstaking task of reconnecting each customer back onto the new cable one by one.”

The spokesman said that at the peak of the disruption, BT staff were informed of 174 reported faults. She noted it is possible that even more people who were affected did not report their landline phone problems.

Caroline and Neil Whitaker, of Bolton Road, said their own landline phone service went down on May 29 and did not return until June 10.

Mrs Whitaker said she had no way of telling how many other households had been hit. However, she added that some of her elderly neighbours who are particularly reliant on their landline phones had been affected.

"We couldn't contact BT about this directly because they are not our own landline phone provider," she said.

"At first we thought it was just our house, because we'd recently switched providers from AOL to EE, but then from talking to neighbours we found out that it was a wider issue.

"Because we had no landline we had no internet either, which meant my husband had to stay at work later because he couldn't use the internet at home.

"It was inconvenient for us, but there are also elderly people who live round here who don't use mobiles and only have their landline phones. They would have been left with no means of communication, so what would they have done in an emergency?"

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