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Darmsden: Majority of homes reconnected after long wait for phone and broadband services following lightning strike

06:00 04 August 2014

Residents in Darmsden had to put up with internet and phone line problems for weeks. Photo: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Residents in Darmsden had to put up with internet and phone line problems for weeks. Photo: Paul Faith/PA Wire

BT has apologised after residents of a rural village were left without broadband and phone services for almost three weeks.

On the weekend of July 12-13 storms took hold of much of Suffolk but a lighting strike in the small village of Darmsden, near Needham Market, caused major problems for residents’ communications.

The damage meant five 60metre lengths of overhead cabling needed replacing as well as excavations to get to broken underground cabling.

Teacher Mike Hardman, 57, said the response by BT had been “disgraceful”. He added: “It’s not been good; I had someone ringing me up about compensation but I said I rather want my telephone line back. We phoned BT three times but didn’t hear anything; it’s not been good enough – it’s been quite a disgrace really.

“I’ve been trying to do work preparing for next term and I need the internet. They kept saying that they are working on it but I did not see anyone.”

A BT spokesman said the majority of homes had been reconnected but there were still reported faults remaining to be fixed.

“A lightning strike caused a significant amount of damage to cabling in the area which has affected some services, requiring extensive engineering works to clear,” he said.

“Lightning strike damage can be particularly difficult to resolve quickly as the damage often follows no logical pattern. Engineers have been working as quickly as possible to replace five 60metre spans of overhead cabling and also carry out excavations to locate damage and replace 10 metres of underground cable. All this cabling work has now been completed.

“We had around 20 reported faults from people affected by this incident. We have now restored services to all but three residual faults. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience whilst this repair work has been progressing.”

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