Openreach are working to restore internet to a mid Wales village after Storm Eunice brought down their broadband lines two weeks ago.
Residents in Corris are still suffering the repercussions of Storm Eunice, on 18 February, after it brought down the village’s internet connection.
Two weeks on, resident David Evans said the village are being “fobbed off”, but Openreach confirmed, on Thursday, that they have started working on restore the internet “as quickly as possible”.
“In Storm Eunice, Corris lost power and internet, as usual, it happens quite often,” David explained.
“But the internet, the broadband didn’t come back on. I and various other people complained to BT. Since then we’ve been given multiple different dates, different excuses and reasons for why it’s not coming back on.
“Which excuse you get varies with which supplier you’re on. There seems to be a disconnect from the supplier taking the customers reports of the faults and that information getting to Openreach, who own the infrastructure. They don’t seem to be able to get engineers out to fix the problem. I’m fairly convinced it’s because of a tree leaning on a telephone wire.
“We don’t know when it’s going to be end which is the crux of it, we’re being fobbed off.”
A spokesperson for Openreach said trees “badly damaged” during a recent storm had “take down a telegraph pole that carries” their fibre line to properties, and they needed to arrange for temporary traffic lights so the engineer could “safely replace the damaged pole and fix the cable”.
Work has now begun to restore the internet, but without a definite end date.
David, who owns local business Bike Corris, said everybody in the community has been affected by the lack of broadband: “Personally, it’s disrupted my business because I’ve been struggling to accept and sort out me bookings. It’s affecting our communication with our family, and our kids in half term because they’ve had no screens.”
Local businessman Gareth Donovan said: “I’ve been driving to the next village to get good 4G so I can work online from my camper van. It was so cold one morning all my colleagues were commenting they could see my breath on the webcam.
“I understand the storms were bad and there were many problems, but it really feels like we’ve been forgotten. After 12 days we keep being told engineers are working on it when we take the time to chase, but we can all see the trees on the line and nothing is being done.”
Corris Craft Centre reported not being able to take card payments over the half term holiday, and Slater’s Arms said they have had to turn away customers as they haven’t been able to pay in cash. Idris Stores have had to set up a “credit book” for villagers to they could continue buying supplies.
David also raised concerns regarding safety, as the mobile phone mast went out at the same time as the broadband and didn’t come back on until the end of the weekend, “leaving a lot of people without any communication at all”.