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Last Updated: Monday, 30 October 2006, 15:11 GMT
Sliced cables restored after raid
BT has restored telephone services to thousands of customers cut off when thieves sliced through cables.

Emergency calls had to be made on mobile phones as up to 35,000 homes and businesses were affected by damage caused during a burglary in Birmingham.

Raiders had cut through BT cables at an exchange near Handsworth sorting office in the early hours of Sunday.

Full service was resumed by 0630 GMT on Monday but BT warned of occasional problems as repairs were completed.

Alternative ways

The damage also cut off the emergency alarms for Wrekin Housing Trust tenants in Telford.

Employees visited residents who were affected among its 1,300 sheltered housing properties to advise on alternative ways of calling for help.

The trust told BBC News there were no emergency calls while the service was down.

BT said it had made good progress overnight in repairing the cables which were deliberately damaged, badly affecting telephone coverage in northern Birmingham and parts of the Black Country.

The company predicted that engineers would be finished by teatime on Monday.

A spokesperson for BT said: "Our cables were deliberately cut.

"We can't speculate on the motive behind this. We're working closely with the police on the matter.

"All of our network resilience and facilities were brought into play which was why customers were restored so quickly."

Thieves disrupt 999 phone service
29 Oct 06 |  West Midlands

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