Scores of residents have been left hanging on the telephone after going for weeks without a land lines - with no explanation as to why.
Some people living in and around Greenaway Lane, in Hackney, have been without phone lines for well over a month as the mystery problem persists.
Seventy-nine-year-old Peter Crossland, of Greenaway Lane, has only just come out of hospital after undergoing major heart surgery when his phone line went off and he was left with no way of communicating with the outside world. He has now gone for three weeks without a land line.
“It’s hard for me because I have no relatives nearby,” he said. “With no land line and no internet I had no form of communication.”
Peter, a retired agricultural engineer, has a son who is working in Dubai and a daughter who lives near Lincoln.
His daughter was so concerned about not being able to get hold of him, that she bought Peter a mobile phone.
“It’s ridiculous, phones being off for a month,” he added.
Peter said that many of his neighbours had been without a phone for even more than a month, and he knew that more than one of his elderly neighbours rely on warden alert systems, which are currently not working as a result of the problem.
He added that he and his daughter have contacted his telephone service provider, the Post Office, numerous times about the problems, but are still no clearer about what has caused the problem or when it is likely to be fixed.
Ingrid Pasteur, a Darley Dale town councillor who also lives on Greenaway Lane, has also been without a phone line for about two weeks.
She said: “It’s been totally chaotic and there doesn’t seem to be a great deal of rhyme or reason about how or why this has happened.”
Ingrid said she had heard mixed reports of why the phone lines had gone down, which included a main line being cut through accidentally, but had received no confirmation about this. Furthermore, some of her neighbours had their phonelines temporarily restored only to be reconnected to the wrong numbers.
The Red House stables and bed and breakfast, in Darley Dale, have also been affected by the problems - having not had a land line for four weeks.
Owner Caroline Dale-Leech said her phone service provider BT had managed to redirect the land line to a mobile phone, but she feels the problems have still had a detrimental effect on her business.
“I can’t understand in this day and age why it’s taking so long to fix it.”
A spokesman for BT Openreach, the company responsible for the phone lines, said: “Openreach engineers are working hard to replace a 190 metre section of faulty underground cable that is affecting service to a number of premises in and around Greenaway Lane. This work is proving to be more difficult than normal as engineers need access to a manhole right outside the entrance to a petrol station on the busy A6 main road. This has meant traffic lights and a road closure being required, both of which could only be put in place after 10pm.
“The work that has already taken place to renew the cable also uncovered further underground blockages that need to be repaired before service is restored. This work will require further traffic management and is in the process of being arranged. It’s hoped the work will be completed as quickly as possible.”