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Charity Internet Back In Action After 15 days Cut Off, ‘Not Our Fault’ Say Utilities

Published on: 7 Oct, 2021
Updated on: 7 Oct, 2021

By Hugh Coakley

After 15 days without internet or telephone, the services are finally back in action for local charity Headway Surrey and four other houses in North Road, Stoughton, after a cable was cut by a contractor in their street.

The utility companies involved, Openreach and Virgin Media, appeared to be blaming others about the delayed repair. Openreach have confirmed they knew about the cut cable on Tuesday, September 21.

Headway Surrey in North Road in Stoughton were without internet or telephone for 15 days after a cable was accidentally cut. (Google Maps)

Headway Surrey’s CEO, Sonja Freebody, said she was exhausted after fighting for so long to get it reinstated. She said it has had “dire consequences” for Headway and those it supports, people with acquired and traumatic head injuries, as well as the neighbours who also lost telephone and internet.

Sonja Freebody had contacted The Dragon on Friday, October 1, after 11 days of battling to get the utility companies to acknowledge and deal with the severed cable.

The Dragon contacted the utility companies and SCC on Saturday, October 2, asking them what was going on. Twenty-four emails and three days later, the fault was repaired during the morning of Tuesday, October 5.

Sonja said it was a combination of a Twitter appeal and pressure from The Dragon that had finally got the repair moving.

Highlighting the frustrating situation that Headway Surrey faced, all of the parties involved have said in emails to The Dragon that the situation was either not their fault or they didn’t know about it, they weren’t told, or it wasn’t their responsibility.

An Openreach spokesperson said: “This fault was caused by a third party utility company who cut through one of our underground cables. Unfortunately, this wasn’t reported to us and the first we knew of it was when a fault report came in and engineers went out to investigate.”

Virgin Media said: “It’s unclear if Virgin Media’s contractor is at fault for the damage – we are investigating this. The fault is not with Virgin Media’s network and so Virgin Media is not responsible for fixing it.”

As late as Monday, September 4, Surrey County Council said: “They would need to submit a road space permit request to us, however we haven’t received any such requests from either BT or Virgin for this location.”

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test One Response to Charity Internet Back In Action After 15 days Cut Off, ‘Not Our Fault’ Say Utilities

  1. Nick Bomford Reply

    October 7, 2021 at 1:05 pm

    “The situation was either not their fault or they didn’t know about it, they weren’t told, or it wasn’t their responsibility.”
    Surely this is a rip-off of a Guilbert and Sullivan operetta!

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