Local businesses and residents were left without internet access and disrupted phone services this week following a British Telecom ‘network outage’ across parts of Dunoon and outlying areas.
Problems begin the morning after a dramatic lightning storm on Tuesday August 2nd with many residents discovering issues with their phone lines and internet access.
Difficulties persisted well into the week with BT informing customers that they were aware of the problem but assured customers it would be fixed as soon as possible.
One local businessman was left fuming when he was told he wouldn’t have any broadband at his premises until Friday 12th August.
‘I run a small business from home and I’ve not had any internet since Tuesday,’ he said.
‘BT originally told me an engineer would be sent to fix the problem on Monday 8th but I got text on the Sunday night to inform me an engineer wouldn’t be needed as they had identified the problem, which had something to do with the network, and it wouldn’t be fixed by Wednesday 12th.
He continued: “To have a small business without any internet access for 10 full days is an absolute disgrace. I signed up to fibre optic broadband earlier this year, but at this rate I’d have been better reverting back to 56k dial-up.”
Another local business affected was Argyll Print and Design. A spokesman for the company told the Standard: “It really disrupted communication with clients, who were unable to send us files relating to print jobs we were working on. Plus we were unable to email proofs, quotes and so on.”
A t the time of going to press residents on Gordon Street, Dunoon were still waiting for the problem to be fixed and a spokesperson from British Telecom explained that the issue may have been due to a lightning strike.
A spokeswoman for Openreach, BT’s local network business, said: “Unfortunately we have a higher than average number of faults in the Dunoon area caused by recent lightning strikes.
“We’re not aware of any common fault affecting Gordon Street and Milton Road, which are served by different street cabinets, but multiple lightning strikes have blown master sockets in a number of homes and business premises and, in some instances, the broadband hubs as well.
“Engineers are working their way around each of the affected premises to restore lines, and we’re sorry for any inconvenience meantime.
“We’ve drafted in extra, experienced engineers to assist with the repair effort.
“However, they are not able to replace damaged equipment, such as broadband hubs and routers.
“Replacements need to be requested through service providers, who can also accelerate priority cases on behalf of their customers using the industry agreed processes.
“Repairs to lightning damage can be slow and painstaking, as lightning often causes several different faults on an individual line.
“Lightning damage can also take several days to appear, with faults often continuing to emerge some time after the lightning originally occurred.”
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