Phone line misery for Sheffield residents

Burncross residenst have been without telephone and, or internet access and who are complaining about this are, from left, Mary Pack, Nick Childes, Jo Smith, Terry Sorsby, Lesley Wood, Beryl Sorsby and Margaret Rowe.
Burncross residenst have been without telephone and, or internet access and who are complaining about this are, from left, Mary Pack, Nick Childes, Jo Smith, Terry Sorsby, Lesley Wood, Beryl Sorsby and Margaret Rowe.
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A pensioner was forced to bang on a neighbour’s wall for help when she fell at home after a Sheffield street was left without phone or internet connection for more than a week.

Houses, businesses and a doctor’s surgery in Burncross have hit out after their lines went down on May 14 with no explanation.

Burncross residenst have been without telephone and, or internet access and who are complaining about this are, from left, Mary Pack, Nick Childes, Jo Smith, Terry Sorsby, Margaret Rowe, Lesley Wood and Beryl Sorsby.

Burncross residenst have been without telephone and, or internet access and who are complaining about this are, from left, Mary Pack, Nick Childes, Jo Smith, Terry Sorsby, Margaret Rowe, Lesley Wood and Beryl Sorsby.

Mary Pack, aged 87, spent three hours trying to alert the house next door after falling in her bedroom when her home alarm system failed as a result of the fault.

Despite frantic calls to BT, residents of Broad Inge Crescent and surrounding streets were given no reason for what happened, without any indication of when they would be re-connected.

Mary said: “I’ve got one of those buzzers which goes straight through to the phone line and it stopped working. It costs me £23 a month.

“I fell at 5.30am and next door didn’t hear me until they got up about 8am. I said they’d have to call for an ambulance man – I’m nearly 88 so I can’t get up if I fall down.

“I didn’t hurt myself badly but I was in a right state.”

The problem affected houses with different phone and internet providers.

It was rectified at most properties after The Star contacted BT, but a handful are still waiting for landlines and internet to come back on.

Neighbour Nick Childes, 40, said: “It’s a disgrace, there were a lot of vulnerable people affected who don’t have mobiles or other ways of getting in touch.”

BT blamed water damage to stretches of cables at Ecclesfield exchange and said they were working to restore services.

A spokeswoman said: “Openreach engineers tried to install new cable but blockages and congestion in the duct caused delays.

“We have established that an entire new section of duct is required but as this will delay repair further are now providing a temporary re-route and repair with engineers returning at a later date to complete further duct work.

“We are very sorry for inconvenience caused to customers.”