Hundreds of Phone Lines Out Of Action in West Ealing

Vandals damage cables causing major communications problems

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British Telecom say around 900 phone lines have been down for days in the West Ealing area because of 'malicious damage'.

It's thought vandals disguised themselves as workmen, before cutting underground copper cables near Cleveland Road, West Ealing. Nothing was stolen but communications have been down around W13 since Monday 17th January.

On Saturday (22nd) a BT spokesperson said:

'' The damage was caused on Monday but Openreach was unable to get access to the manhole to start the repair until yesterday as a series of gas leaks had to be made safe by National Grid before work could start.

''Engineers are having to restore each connection manually, which is taking some time, and local people have asked us not to carry out works overnight to avoid disruption.

''We’re very sorry for the knock-on impact on local people. Those affected should contact their service providers to arrange for phone diverts to be put in place where possible. Engineers are continuing to repair each connection one by one but this is painstaking work and will take some time.`


Update 23rd January '' ...engineers are continuing to repair each connection one by one but this is painstaking work and will take some time. They hope to begin testing the restored connections on Tuesday but at this stage expect to be continuing work on the cables until later in the week. We are sorry for any ongoing inconvenience to local people – in this case the nature of the damage was beyond BT’s control.''

'' Openreach is aware of around 900 faults. One cable is a 2000 pair cable and the other is an 800 pair cable meaning the maximum number of connections that could ever be carried on the two cables is 2800, but we have just under 700 faults on one cable and around 200 on the other.

'Once lines are repaired end users need to speak to their own service providers about compensation.


Ealing police are investigating, anyone with information should call DS Widgery on 020 8721 7036.


January 23rd 2011


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