Engineers working for BT’s network team Openreach will be conducting door to door visits in some of the worst-hit areas in a bid to get people back online more rapidly.
Rather than waiting for information to trickle down to repair teams from customers contacting their ISPs to report faults, Openreach is taking a more proactive approach. So-called ‘hit squads’ will head out to critical areas and check the state of play for residents.
If a job can be repaired quickly, teams on the ground will do it there and then, rather than waiting for a home or business owner to officially file a report.
If no repairs are required, Openreach teams will make a note and move on. In areas where flood water has yet to subside, Openreach emergency teams will be on standby to start work as soon as possible.
Further flooding caused by storms in early February has caused customers to be disconnected in parts of Cumbria, Manchester, West Yorkshire, Swindon
Bristol and Bournemouth.
Orders for new connections in Cardiff, Bristol and parts of Newport have also been temporarily suspended.
Openreach will announce on Tuesday February 25 where in the UK it will be deploying teams first.
Extensive damage caused to the Openreach network by the continued extreme weather has seen a record number of customers losing phone and broadband services. Repair teams have been busy reconnecting customers up and down the UK after the Christmas 2013 and New Years storms caused a record number of customers to lose their phone and broadband services.
BT teams were about to start reconnecting the last few areas taken offline over Christmas before the latest round of flooding hit the nation.
The latest bout of extreme weather has mainly affected customers in the west of England and parts of Wales. Customers in the following areas are still waiting to be reconnected:
- Lancashire, Cumbria, South Manchester, West Yorkshire, Mid Wales & Shrewsbury, Swansea and West Wales, Newport Severnside, Cardiff, North Wales, Swindon, Bristol, Bournemouth, Taunton, Truro, Exeter
Sustained flooding and damage also means that orders for new connections in the following areas are subject to delays:
- Cardiff, Bristol, Newport Severnside, North Wales, Mid wales and Shrewsbury, Swansea, Truro, East Downs, Central Downs, West Downs, Esher, Croydon, Exeter, Taunton, Bournemouth, Southampton, Guildford.