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“Hold times were previously extremely high, but have now been significantly reduced.”

Peter Lowes, Origin Broadband head of operations, said they were working “flat out” to get everyone affected on to the firm’s newly-built network - and customer service was improving.

Hundreds of customers who lost their internet connection when the Digital Region network was shut down last week also complained that were struggling to get through to Origin.

The firm had plans to build its own network by installing equipment in telephone exchanges and use BT’s cables like big companies such as Talk Talk.

But the hugely ambitious and expensive plan hit technical and financial problems - and then ran out of time when Digital Region was switched off.

Peter said: “There has been a major issue due to the type of ‘tag’ that has been left on customers’ lines by the Digital Region service that prevents the use of a MAC code and also precludes any ISP from placing broadband onto an affected line. We are working with Openreach now to remove these tags so we can restore service as quickly as possible.

“We understand and appreciate that customers have been affected by the closure of Digital Region. Our responsibilty now is to continue to work flat out to get everyone affected onto our newly built network as quickly as possible.”

An Ofcom spokeswoman said: “Ofcom has been in touch with Origin, and the company has confirmed that it is allowing customers to exit their contract without penalty if they are not happy with the changes. Customers that wish to exit their contract should contact Origin directly.”