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Severed BT cables leave dozens cut off
SUSPECTED cable thieves have left dozens of villagers without phones or internet connections for more than two weeks.
BT is working to reconnect parts of Arncott, near Bicester after a cable was cut and ducting damaged in what the company believes was an attempted theft in Ploughley Road.
The telecommunications firm said the incident had been reported to police and it would press for legal action to be taken.
Last night it said some lines were starting to come back on, and it would keep working at the site until all services were restored.
As the cable is underground the repair work has been hampered by the bad weather.
BT spokeswoman Emma Littlejohn said: “The cable has been cut, but left in the ground.
“We do appreciate the inconvenience this loss of service is causing and we are doing all we can to restore service.”
Villagers said their phones and internet connections went down on January 7.
BT said there had been about 90 calls from people in the Upper Arncott area.
Andrew Hancock, 36, of Woodpiece Road, Arncott, said the attempted theft had caused problems for many villagers.
He said: “Right now everything is increasingly done online so the internet is a lifeline. In this day and age, to be left for two weeks without it is ridiculous.”
Mother-of-two Michaela Middleton, 44, also of Woodpiece Road, said she had spent more than £40 using her mobile phone in the past fortnight – usually she spends about £10 a month.
She said: “I have a special needs child and we often have regular contact with consultants. He has an immune deficiency and any type of infection could cause chaos.”
Mrs Middleton said because there is poor mobile phone reception in the village it had been difficult and expensive to stay in touch with medical staff when she had issues with four-year-old Finley, and also contact friends and family.
Student Sophie Mitchell, 21 of Woodpiece Road, is taking a degree in creative media production and had to go into Bicester to use the internet to complete assignments.
She has paid an extra £20 on top of her monthly phone contract of £40.