Phone line problems affecting businesses

Immediate Past President Gerri Ori presents the Mayor of Seaford, Linda Wallraven, with a cheque for WAVES Family Support Service. ENGSUS00120120703161411

Immediate Past President Gerri Ori presents the Mayor of Seaford, Linda Wallraven, with a cheque for WAVES Family Support Service. ENGSUS00120120703161411

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Around 400 telephone lines in Seaford have been down in the last week, and it is affecting business in the town.

Seaford Chamber of Commerce President Gerri Ori, said the broken phone lines at Broad Street and Church Street is affecting people’s livelihood.

He also said businesses had been ‘pushed from pillar to post’ over whose job it is to sort out the problem. Businesses have heard several different reasons for what is causing the problem, including a broken cable, flooded cables, and problems with a junction box.

“It is disgusting. I think it is unacceptable,” he said. “Nobody seems to be taking responsibilty. Unfortunately someone’s going to go bust. We are really concerned about this.”

Alastair Fortune of Badger Inks in Church Street, said his line has been down since November 25.

He said, “I think water went into a manhole that has corroded the lines to 400 telephones.”

On whether he has lost any business, he said, “How do you measure it?”

He has had calls diverted to his mobile phone, but will have to pick up the cost for that.

Gemma Parsons-Hood runs Bishopstone Nurseries and has had problems with her phonelines since mid-September.

“Nobody actually seems to know what the problem is,” she said. “There are several businesses I know that have not got a phone line and with Christmas we need our phone line, it’s a busy time for us.

“It would just be nice to know what the problem is and when it is going to be solved.”

A BT Openreach spokesman said, “Service has been affected in the Seaford area, due to underground cable water damage. We have around ten reported faults. Openreach engineers are working as fast as they can to restore service and will renew 150m of underground cable.

“The work is complex and time-consuming and requires traffic management to carry out the work safely. “We apologise for the inconvenience caused, our engineers are working to restore service as soon as possible.”