ANGRY residents are calling for answers after they were left without phone and internet services for five days.
About 400 homes and businesses in the Handbridge area along with almost the entire village of Eccleston were unable to make calls or use the internet.
Contractors demolishing old West Cheshire College buildings on Eaton Road accidentally damaged the cables last week.
BT engineers had to replace three damaged cables covering 400 metres and then reconnect each customer individually with most services being restored by Sunday evening.
But John Murray, who runs the Handbridge.com website, said many residents were unhappy at the lack of communication and some had been told ‘cable theft’ caused the outage.
He said: “A significant proportion of those affected run home-based businesses and were particularly hard hit, with many having to make alternative arrangements to access the internet.
“Many residents have contacted me and criticised BT for poor communication and providing conflicting accounts of the cause of the problems.
“I do not believe that subscribers are being told the whole story about what happened and call on BT to come clean about the events leading up to the line failures.”
The loss of services affected properties in Eaton Road, Hartington Street, Belgrave Park, Greenback and Eccleston.
BT spokeswoman Emma Tennant apologised for the outage and said the accidental damage was “extremely regrettable”.
She said: “The majority of faults were cleared by Sunday evening. This is an extremely painstaking process. Each customer has their own pair of wires which has to be reconnected individually.
“This was not a ‘BT-only’ issue and could have affected any customer with any service provider.
“Openreach, the BT Group business that looks after the local network on behalf of all service providers, carried out the cable repairs.
“They would have updated service providers and then service providers can use that information to update any of their customers who raise a fault.”
See full story in the Chester Leader