Duns without phones and broadband

Market Square, Duns
Market Square, Duns

A major cable fault left residents and business owners in the centre of Duns without telephone lines and broadband for over a week.

For some the problem has been intermittent but for others, mostly local businesses, they have had no service for the majority of the week and it has caused them major disruption.

Solicitor Bruce de Wert of Smiths Grant, Solicitors and Estate Agents, was without a telephone line from August 5, and he was eventually told by BT Openreach this Tuesday that they expected connections to be re-established by Wednesday (yesterday).

“It has been causing havoc, and we have suffered financial loss,” said Bruce, who on Tuesday had a stack of emails in his outbox going nowhere. Neither customers requiring legal services or those interested in houses Smiths Grant have for sale could contact the company.

A spokesperson for BT Openreach said: “Seven customers in Duns lost service after water leaked into a cable joint on August 5. It took us longer than anticipated to locate where the fault lay and service was not restored until last Sunday, August 16.

“Service providers can assist in situations like this by diverting customer lines to their mobiles or other landlines, so that they do not miss any incoming calls.

“We’d like to apologise for the inconvenience caused by the delay in restoring service.”

However, business owners reported that they were still having problems by the middle of this week, days after BT Openreach say that service was restored.

Pharmacist George Romanes said: “We have had no phone since a week past Monday. We have three lines coming in, the card machine, photo lab and all lines have been off.

“It has been very disappointing, I’m just glad we have broadband to do the subscriptions - the NHS Borders internet connection was working.

“It’s been very disruptive, all calls have had to be diverted to my mobile, so now I’m left with lots of messages to try and go through.”

BT Openreach say that phone line problems can be checked online to see if there are any major issues in the area. However, if the problem affects broadband connection as well, which it did on this occasion, that isn’t any help as you won’t be able to get online.

“If a major problem has been identified in your area you’ll see what’s caused it, when it was reported and an indication of when it should be fixed,” said BT Openreach.