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Businesses’ anger at huge impact of broadband blackout
BUSINESSES affected by the broadband blackout on the Parkgate Industrial Estate have told the Guardian of the massive impact it has had on their companies.
The majority of the business park, along with some residential homes, has been left without broadband for 10 days after a cable was damaged underground.
Internet service was switched off on Friday, September 22, and the problem was still ongoing as the Guardian went to press on Tuesday afternoon.
The Guardian understands that 270 firms and residents have been affected by the Parkgate outage, and some are calling for compensation.
Stuart Cooper, from Culzean Engraving, said his business had ground to a halt since his broadband went off on September 22.
“We’ve lost customers because all of our work is based on the network,” he said.
“We’ve now got nothing in the system because all of our art work comes in via email. BT said it would be back up and running on Saturday, but nothing has happened.
“ I'm at my wits’ end and don’t know what to do.”
Julian Sarkar, Xanos Ltd, told the Guardian: “Our phones came back on over the past weekend, but our broadband is linked to our fax line and we've been without that.
“We rely very heavily on our internet as we bring in products from China to the UK, and it has been a nightmare.
“Because we deal business-to-business it’s a little bit better for us, but some of the firms here deal with customers via the phone for orders.”
Sharon Inch, HR manager at Oliver Valves, said: “It’s been a big problem and some of us are doing our work from home.
“For recruitment I use a online portal and can’t get on to it. We've been a little bit proactive and have approached our contacts, but it can’t go on forever.”
Steve Edwards, from Sheldon’s, said: “The phones are our lifeline so we had to divert all our calls to my mobile – which meant it was going off all the time.
“It could have been worse for us, but not having our phones for the time we did was terrible.”