Wigan residents' fury over internet repair delays

Wiganers have been cut off from their phones and the internet after vandals and thieves sabotaged efforts to repair network problems.

Friday, 20th July 2018, 11:50 am
Updated Friday, 20th July 2018, 12:57 pm
Gidlow Lane residents have been without internet or phone access

Openreach said police are investigating after metal cables taken to Gidlow Lane were pinched by offenders.

The provider was attempting to sort out further problems with anti-social behaviour in the area after yobs attacked one of the wooden poles taking internet access and phone lines to the houses.

However, residents in the area have hit out at their network providers, saying the service they have received has been extremely poor.

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Some people living in Gidlow Houses were almost completely unable to communicate with the outside world for a fortnight before any work was done.

Despite Openreach recently undergoing temporary repairs they also say they have been warned they could have faced a full month of problems by the time everything is back to normal.

A spokesperson for Openreach said: “We can confirm that one of our telegraph poles has been vandalised on Gidlow Lane in Wigan.

“The burnt out pole and cable will need to be replaced but our efforts to restore service to local residents have been hampered as new cable that had been brought on site was later stolen.

This theft has been reported to the local police.

“We’re keeping the local community informed of the latest situation and are happy to confirm that our engineers have provided a temporary service to those properties that have been affected by this damage while we arrange a permanent fix.”

Openreach’s efforts to resolve the issues have not been enough to prevent local anger, though.

Gidlow Houses resident Paul Norris said: “There are 20-odd houses up here that were off line for two weeks. By the time it’s sorted everybody will have struggled to access their phones or the internet for a month and we think that’s a bit excessive.

“Everybody was offline and no-one’s phones were working but it didn’t appear to be a priority for Openreach. It took them two weeks for a temporary fix but you would think in this day and age they could have it sorted within a few days.

“We also didn’t really get any communication letting us know what was going on. We’ve seen two or three vans up here some days but no-one could figure out what they were doing.

“We also got mixed messages. I rang last week and was told we would soon be up and running but my operator contacted me to say it would be another two weeks after that before it was sorted.”