Express & Star

Working from home not possible in Staffordshire area left without internet for weeks

Dozens of people have been left unable to work from home despite new government guidance after being without internet since Storm Arwen.

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Thirty-six properties in two Staffordshire villages have been without an internet connection since last month - and may not have their broadband restored until just before Christmas.

Residents of Coton Hayes and Fradswell, north east of Stafford, lost their connection when the high winds of Storm Arwen damaged five overhead cables and knocked a pole over on November 27.

Since then residents have been given multiple dates for when the repair work will be completed but are yet to see progress, with the latest update being December 23.

The issue has become particularly acute due to the Government's recommendation for people to work from home "where possible" from Monday under the Plan B coronavirus restrictions.

One resident told the Express & Star that the lack of connection had caused multiple problems.

They said one of the people affected had had to book into a nearby hotel in order to be able to work 'from home'.

Meanwhile an elderly couple who rely on shopping online due to being considered at high risk from coronavirus have been left unable to buy food while shielding.

A spokesman for Openreach said: "We are really sorry for the disruption here.

"Our engineers are working flat out in a number of communities at the moment, mainly repairing damage from the recent storms.

"They’re doing their best to work as quickly and safely as possible.

"Thirty six properties are currently affected in this area and we need to replace five overhead cables, a fallen pole and connect everything back together again.

"Some of this work requires traffic management, which can take time to organise.

"We understand how frustrating this must be for people living here and we’re doing everything we can to get this work underway as quickly as possible, and finished well before the 23 December.”