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24 September 2014

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Telephone chaos - Have Your Say
updated 29/03/04
Fire crews at the scene With more than 130,000 telephone lines being disrupted in the North West, tell us where you are and if the fire has affected you.

Arrow Have your say
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Fire crews at the scene

Day 1: Your comments:

Don, Manchester
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. I am sure among all these people who are wishing they had a backup plan for problems like this, BT are asking themselves the same question. My thoughts are with those whose lives have been endangered by this inicident.

Doug - Luton
You're all a bunch of moaning idiots.. (Apart from those without bad comments, sorry!) So what you've not got your phone for a couple days.. We had a fire at a school here a couple months ago.. The kids couldn't go to school... Yet I didn't see a hoard of bored people slating the teachers and blaming them for the fire.. Accidents happen.. Why not wait for the results of any investigation, then you can start pointing fingers.. Well done to the fire fighters who risked themselves to save some technology, and well done to the engineers, that missed dinner yesterday putting in the extra hours to get your phone lines back.. Well done to the patients phone line customers with out lines for waiting... There.. My 2cents.

Geoff, Disley A disgrace. There seems to be loads of BT staff on here sticking up for the company. The fact is this shouldnt have happened in the frst place. I have just been on for Corporates and they rattle on about "Business Continuity" as a key USP!!!! I hope Ben Verwayen (BT CEO) is able to identify which of his employees have been coming on line when they should be trying to sort this mess.

Steve Chester
Our leased line connection to Burnley has been unavailable for a day now and has caused mass disruption - you would of thought they would have better backup circuits in place.

joe, manchester
OK, kilotons. :) I would imagine that this tunnel wasn't used much apart from for the cable runs, it's almost certainly lined with blue asbestos as was the Birmingham Anchor and London Kingsway, so it's not a nice environment to be in. Therefore, terrorism is unlikely, as is sabotage or anything deliberate. These sites were well protected, and as the fire started well below ground (which is why it's been hard to get to or put out) it's unlikely to be terrorists. Not that that'll stop Mr Blunkett using it as an excuse to push his ID cards if he thinks of it quick enough. What'll bve amusing is the size of the compensation bill, which will begine to accumulate Wednesday at 02:30...

Chris (again) Manchester
Yesterday was a cracking day!!! I was sat at my desk all day, no phone calls and I got practically no work done! I've come into the office today, to the same thing!!! ;o) NO PHONES FOR A WEEK??? Why are people complaining? It's not BT's fault Anyway, to all my friends around the country (including those working daaaarrrrrrnnnnn saaaaarrrrrrffffff!!!) I just want to say, it's been fun while it lasted!

Maybe this will encourage IT and Telecom managers to take calls and answer emails from alternative service providers who not only offer cheaper tariffs but can also provide a full resilience package even allowing for fires. If only the companies affected had given the likes of me 15 minutes of thier time.

Chris, The Midlands
I doubt that this incident is BT's fault - calling for resignations is plain ridiculous until we know the cause. Oh, and I don't work for BT, by the way.

Dave Fielding, Ashton
Sounds like a job for the A-Team....

I like Geoff's comments,get out of that call centre and down that hole now!! And Ray, why didn't YOU see it coming,whatever IT is (I'm guessing NOT terrorism by the way)

Jim Cowin
This is equivelent to a major accident on the M6 blocking it. Calling for someones resignation because they didn't build another road incase it happens isjust stupid. Catastrophic things happen occassionally and its up to us to work our way round them, not jump up and down like a petulent kid.

Mark, Bolton
E-mail and internal phones are off in Lostock nr Bolton. Which isnt a Bad thing, come on.....

WILL ALL YOU MOANING SADDOES GET A LIFE! So you haven't got a phone for a couple of days I'm sure that BT did it on purpose just to spite the lot of you. Good luck to the BT engineers.

Pauline, England
It's amusing to see how much we are encouraged to moved away from BT, other companies can offer us faster cheaper services, and oftel are unhappy about how much of a market share they have, but as soon as there is a major fault BT is crucified for it - the press don't slate Telewest, Colt, Vodafone, Orange etc... and yet all are affected by the fire but everyone wants compensation from BT

Basil, UK
The fact that a single point of failure could cause such mayhem points to two possible conclusions. 1/ A deliberate decision on the part of BT to not implement appropriate redundency in their network - presumeably to save cost. 2/ Incompetence.

It's amazing isn't it! Suddenly we have hundreds of experts professing their wisdom on the planning of telecomms infrastructure. I suppose these "experts" would duplicate, or triplicate the M1 or Heathrow Airport, just in case there were problems! Get real you people! leave this stuff to the people who know what they're doing ang go and play with your toytown sets!

Liam, Stockport
What an interesting day... I noticed an internet slowdown (ADSL with Freeserve) around 1am on Monday morning, so I disconnected, and tried to reconnect which never ucceeded. So the reports of the fire starting at 2am and 3:30am I think aren't THAT accurate. Anyway, so I went to bed. Woke up at 6:30am. No signal on my O2 mobile. We have two lines at home. Voice one worked fine, ADSL wouldn't connect on Internet one. Called O2 customer services who said my lack of signal was in an affected area of the fire. Freeserve didn't know what the problem was at 7am. BT Customer services logged my call and said it must be something to do with my local exchange here in Stockport(!!!) Called BT Customer Services for an update at 10am and the woman who answered didn't know what I was talkign about with the fire. She said "that was months ago" (referring to a fire in Salford about a year ago). She then decided to look at her wallboard and noticed the message flashing about major incident in Manchester and exclaimed "oh, thats what we've been having all the calls for. i wondered why i wasn't able to test any lines in manchester" Seems the communication breakdown wasn't just as a result of the fire!!!! O2 restored service around 3pm. ADSL is still down. Funnily enough though, it's 7:20am on Tuesday. I can dial out fine on the Internet line, but ADSL is down. Stupid bloody thing. Oh well, the story unravels!

Jon, Manchester
A fire 30 metres underground... surely caused by an electrical fault! Come on people, it happens. BT will work hard to fix the lines, just give them time. After all, there IS 130,000 lines to get back on.

Trying to sell house, Oxfordshire
The Lengths my solicitors will go to avoid taking my calls !

BT should have taken precautions to make sure this sort of isolated incident, which has been so destructive, shouldn't have happened. Many elderly people simply do not own a mobile phone and can therefore not contact the emergency services. Secondly, My business relies on the internet to process contracts, if the internet goes down, we have a back up system which involves phoning for contract completion. Both our Internet and phone service have been affected. So far we have lost 1 days takings because of this incident. The possibility of the situation taking several days to rectify is massively worrying. Will BT foot the Bill? Personally I feel it is disgraceful that one fire can cause so much inconvenience.

Piccadilly Box Office Phone Monkey
Well, what can I say! Didnt affect us at all except for the poor Man City fans...Please stop trying to call and book yer tickets!!!!!

Can't believe some of the comments on here - how can people expect someone to be fired over a small fire that has inconvienced some people for a bit?

Paul, Manchester
How do BT manage to make such a cock up? Why wasnt there any CO2 Powerder sprinkler systems, what incompetance (security breach or negligence)caused the problems. Why is access to such a crucial part of the network in the North West so limited causing risk to firefighters lives. BT have a lot of answers to make. Luckily I have an ntl:home line!

Heather, Stockport
If this has happened before, then why couldn't BT or whoever have done something to prevent this from happening again?

Darren, Stockport.
Working in a call centre dealing with local clients, we got some much needed rest today. Isn't amazing that there are so many little jobs that needed doing, only get done during times like these?!? It's affected our local radio station too - Imagine FM have been talking about it all day, and it still sounds like they're broadacasting from a bunker somewhere!

It's amazing how it's always BT's fault when anything happens. I work on the BT network, and BT even get blamed when contractors dig our cables up with JCB's. No system's perfectly safe, but we do our best to protect the network. These things happen, but much worse happens elsewhere.

john, sale
first time I've been glad to be on ntl

I live in North Manchester..No problems here! :-)

Anon, Manchester
I work for the City Council, and all our systems are on one side of the break, all the staff on the other. Spare a thought for all the people who may not receive their benefits this week thanks to this.

Richie, London
This affected other providers who use fibre circuits. I had problems at work today so put my feet up. The people of BT are doing all they can. It's not like every single BT epmloyee can fit down the hole to fix the wires. Too many cooks spring to mind? (from a non-BT employee!)

Luke,, Leicester
anyone got to tin cans and a bin of string? it will be next big rush on at the supermarkets "I'll have 200tins of beans and 500m of string please"

daniel, Manchester
joe whiteley: the fire was underground in the tunnel, how do you expect it to cope? Will you all just stop complaining, chill out a bit! And then I bet some money grabbing .... are going to sue. Come on BT, I support you!

Pete Roberts, Runcorn
Another example of how whizz-bang digital technology falls down when push comes to shove. If a little fire can knock out communications in most of the Mersey valley and beyond, what would happen after a full-scale terrorist attack? Bring back Strowger and co-axial cable. The old analogue system survived WW2 without falling over.

eddie, Manchester
is this about football, thats the only thing that matters in life

Pete Stockport
Thank God there has been no loss of life. Good luck to the BT lads who are trying their best to get things back to normal.

Jo, Altrincham
Guess I've been lucky, mobile (Orange)is working fine, phones at work fine (Manchester Airport) and phone and Broad band at home fine (Altrincham). Although I'm no fan of BT, I dont' think there is an awful lot they could have done about this, there are a million and one things that can go wrong, it's just something that's happened. All these people that are winging should just be thankful that they've got nothing else to worry about. At least no-one got hurt and if you can't live for a day or two without your phones then try getting a life and find something else to do.

nicolene (buxton)
i live in buxton, its not only the phone being down that effects me but i have all my money in a bank account i can not access due to machines being on a phone line and am unable to buy my daughter nappys, i am running low on gas which i pay at a pay point so even if i could access my money i couldnt top up my gas, and my mobile had also been effected but even if it was working i had no credit and was hoping to top that up today and that also works via pay point. while walking through town this morning i saw people unaware of the situation trying to pay for there grocerys with credit and debit cards and had to have there shoping taken back as they could not pay, they didnt even have the option of using the cash machines. in my opinion its worse than not having electricity! im so glad i have broadband or id have no way of comunication

Will Howells, Surrey
I don't live in the area anymore but I still have lots of friends up there and they are all having a torrid time. I don't think they've ever appreciated the phone so much.

Leon in Droylsden Manchester
At work today in South Manchester - nothing - no phones, no t'internet no email - but back home good old NTL are not affected in anyway.

advisor doncaster
I also work for bt and I find all the comments made about bt are riddiculous. How can a tunnel built to stop an explosion from the outside also prevent a fire ever happening within it- use your head, it is just not possible ! And as for it being BT's fault- I suppose we could have had a bunch of cave dwelling engineers standing down there with fire extinguishers just in case anything like this did ever happen! Get over it, get on with your lives and let BT sort it when we can finally get down there.

Are we going to get another update? Any lines back up and running yet in the city centre?

Marcus, Manchester
What is the major problem? Bt is trying to repair it but not allowed for the safety for the engineers!. Are you all so bothered about you're internet/phones and emails to think they are higher up on you're priority lists than someones safety.

Simon, Stockport
I thought this was a news web site, not a site for gimps and morans

Martin, Heathfield
With regards to 'Geoff, Disley' comments 'I hope Ben Verwayen (BT CEO) is able to identify which of his employees have been coming on line when they should be trying to sort this mess.' ...this person may have been working down in the south or may have been on leave ...lighten up, and relax.

Dear BBC Manchester - have you now decided this isn't a story anylonger because it sure will be when it's not up again tomorrow and businesses like Powergen start loosing £m.....

Even though we're in Buxton which is far away from Manchester, we're still getting a big effect. The incoming and outgoing calls on the land line are out and my mobile(O2) has no reception. Very inconvenient.

Sleepwalker, Planet earth
First Anchor floods then Guardian has a fire what will happen to London's cold war telephone exchange ?

lee, manchester
dont really see why everyone i concerened! we can live without phones, my phones down and im just carrying on my life as normal, i wont be commiting suicide over it.

John, Yorkshire
Well its great fun for all those who work for an employer bbut as a small business I currently have no website (host is in Manchester) and no e-mail either. No estimate of how long this will take to fix - have BT heard of business continuity? Expect a few law suits to start flying - someone will have to pay for loss of business income.

Jon, Cheshire
I wish everyone would stop blaming BT. They do have contingencies in place and I expect they will do everything they can as soon as they are allowed to go into the tunnel and correct the problem. They deserve some thanks with the swift way they have rerouted the calls they could. What did we all do without phone/email/fax? One or 2 days of downtime is NOT going to cause anyone severe damage especially when I reckon BT will have compensation procedures. The 999 and police services actually remain unaffected. Some people should chill out a bit!!

Garry, Scarborough
Our main telephone exchange burnt down several years ago due to the fire alarms not working properly, so I know how difficult how things may be, and not many had mobile phones then. Residential lines were down for some time, obviously nobody has learnt from that lesson

Martin - London
I hope people actually relise that once the fire brigade give to ok to BT, then this is not a quick fix to replace the cable chunks, and of course their will be a client order list of re-connection, with BT Residential being last ... 2-3 days after some rerouting, and fibire termination prehaps !!!

soup dragon, disley
Well: one small fire and we descend to life as cavemen! It just shows how fragile 21st century life is. Compare today's incident with WW2 Britain or even Iraq today. We are totally clueless and dependent on our technological comfort blanket. It's good to see the Sally Army out refreshing the Fire crews. Altogether now, "We'll meet again! Don't know where, don't know when!"

Many ISPs have PoPs (points of presence) in Manchster. Customers in many parts of the North of England (such as Lancashire and Derbyshire) may therefore be unable to connect to the Internet because of this.

Dave Robinson, Aberdeen
I recognise that getting emwrgency services sorted is the priority here but my business runs in a server based in Manchester. I'm losing business, and I'm unable to serve my clients. I'm annoyed at BT and I'm annoyed at my ISP who it seems has only one connection to the Internet, what a shambles.

Gavin, Manchester
My phone line at home is fine but the computer won't connect to broadband. Does this sound like it's an unrelated fault with my PC or is it more likely to be the fire?

Dave, Liverpool
I'm afriad there is problems with most UK mobile networks i've got Voda/02/02 Online and currently only the 02 online one is working! so i'm afriad it's the networks not the phones!.....

Anon, Gloucester
If all these people haven't got internet access how are they managing to have there say????????

MA - City
Our business is directly affected. What Frightens me is the lack of information from reponsable/ accountable bodies The only information you can find is from BBC GMR web site. The official bodies (BT & Manchester city Council) do not have any advice to offer. Should this have been a larger incident where lives were at risk would the same void of responsability exist. What would it take for them to put up a couple of sentances together on a web site - it may even save them work - form people ringing up with the same questions. Typical - whent to going gets tuff - the directors go in to hideing.

Gary, Derbyshire
This fire was reported on the news this morning and I was amazed to find the phone line was still down when I returned home this afternoon. It's disgraceful that lines haven't been diverted - does BT have any disaster plans?

Martin, Stockport
Does this Global Company not have a Business Continuity / Disaster Recovery Plan that it can invoke? Surely this type of incident has been hilighted before as a Single Point of Failure!

John Manchester
To Geoff in Disley.If you could predict where fire was going to start, then you're in the wrong job. BT have a major incident & are working to fix. If you can do any better, then off you go....get down the tunnel yourself. Otherwise let the experts get on with it.

Dave - France Telecom
Some of our customers circuits are still down - and backups on ISDN in close vicinity aren't working either... no re-routes are available either due to SDH Rings being damaged by the fire -- I guess we have to wait this one out -- although redundancy seems to be a big issue here - too many eggs in one basket (or tunnel) ... Lets hope that the after effects don't damage the health of people making the repairs - electronics equipments and the materials within can be very hazardous once burn't - especially if there has been some old pcb oil filled capacitors in the equipment racks - not to mention asbestos etc.. I for one wouldn't want to be on the repair team for that one... If BT reads - this ... Goodluck :)

Sarah, Yorkshire
Please give a thought too to the thousands of businesses across the UK & USA whose websites are hosted by companies within the central Manchester area. No website, no email, no business, no cash. This problem is on a very much larger scale than BT would have us believe - it may prove very costly for them, especially from companies in the States - hope BT has a get out clause.

Liz, Manchester
My internet's being really slow and I have no signal on my o2 phone, v.irritating! Hope it doesn't take too long to get sorted!

rick Buxton North West
All our phones here are down 2, and all the banks are shut, and the cash points, so y int me internet not working, its bt bband

Alistair, Birmingham
I hope BT Birmingham are taking note ... they also use a cold war relic under the city's streets ...

chris cambridge
What use is it to fire someone over something that no one saw coming??? would people be as quick to respond and bad mouth BT, if we had/have been a victim of terrorism? Will anyone say thanks to the poor engineers who will have to work in this tunnel?? I for one thank them whole heartedly as I know I would not want to be the one doing it!! No one seems to appreciate the fact of health and safety does that not matter to the morons who, just think that the world has ended because they have no internet, not exactly the end of the world is it, maybe we will have to go back to old fashioned chatting in the pub for a while!!!! Real hardship that one, me thinks! Not

More BT call centre workers
All these companies are whinging about BT not having a back up plan, I don't see any evidence of them having any kind of disaster management when their internet connection has gone down. Case of pot calling the kettle black ???

Lee Horan, Manchester
Whats BT going to do about this now? Any 1/2 witted person with 1% common sense can see a tunnel filled with electrical components as vital as these could be a fire hazard, yet it seems they have not taken enough precautions to prevent this scenario. Also, seeing as I do NOT own a mobile phone and my home line is affected by this outage, are BT willing to give me a mobile and let me pay the costs of the calls set at the landline tarrif ? Good to talk... more like good to invest as little as possible into safety and improvements.

annon, Midlands
for all those that say BT are to blame and it shouldn't have happened, instead of whinging how about putting constructive comments like How this was to be predicted, how it was to be prevented and what BT can do now?

Matt London
It's all very well people stating it does not matter and go without a phone for a few days but we are an internet only company. This means until the problem is sorted we cannot process any orders and therefore take no money. My anger is not directed at BT but at those "do gooders" who say - "it's just like the old days go without a phone and stop whinging" well perhaps they would like their income taken away from them for a few days they would soon change their minds.

Rob Huddersfield
o Why are some people going on about people getting fired for what’s happened? What about equipment malfunction? Does that mean the factory workers at 3com or Nortel for instance should get fired if this is the case? I recon people should wait until the cause is found before they start pointing the finger at anyone in particular.

BT are useless, reading the comments from BT staff amaze me. BT are a business that charges billions of pounds to business and home users. If you fail to provide a service that you charge for then the buck stops with you. Our business broadband has been disrupted several times recently. I assume the idiots working for BT leaving comments along the lines of 'relax', 'take the time off', 'it's not our fault' will be quite happy to explain to our staff why weve been forced to make them redundant. BT are a monopoly and as such have an extended responsibility to their customers. If BT choose not to take responsibilty for their failures then it's time for them to be broken up. Perhaps if BT had chosen to spend its resources on getting the basics right by providing it's customers with modern distributed architectures with built-in redundancy rather than wasting billions (and getting themselves hugely into debt) on 3G we wouldn't have had to suffer today.

Graeme, Stockport
I have a friend at BT who says this will disrupt business for at least a week. They have started tunneling in from the back entrance because the front door melted.

bt worker
bt is not stopping the repair the fire safety officer is. As for no information availible that is because there is none until we are allowed to assess the damage. Thank you. As for geoffs comments are we not allowed breaks in the call centre to enter our frustratio n as well? I think Ben would be pleased for support

The tunnel system has recently been undergoing refurbishment works to create a more modern facility, so it's going to be interesting to see what affect this incident has on BTs plans.

Bob & Lena
First the home phone users leave en mass and now the manchester business community. Anyone want to buy some BT shares?

thanks for that Ian. i use an ISP that hasn't been affected by this outage as they are connected in multiple locations by multiple telcos!

Mel, Lambeth
I have colleagues in the North West. This is a major storey but its not making the headlines down here at all! BTW nice to know my phone bills help pay people to go on chat rooms!

Mike - Southampton
Yes, lets complain about how inadequate these mere mortals are. Fancy letting something as insignificant as an inferno interrupt OUR precious telephones. Selfishness in the extreme. I have pointless spam mail to read! I wish I was Geoff, Disley. He could stop a fire in it's tracks! My hero.

Joe, Birmingham
To everyone here who is moaning, it's unfeasable for BT to provide a complete redundant backup for every line it owns, these things happen - they are accidents and you just have to get on with it. I support the telephones for a large call centre in Manchester and like anyone else who is running a business which relies on Telephones should do we have switched to our backup suppliers and alternative numbers which means our business can carry on as normal. The point is that if this outage is so disasterous to you then you really should have made contingency plans yourself.

Sarah, Hyde
No wonder thousands are leaving BT! Its about time someone else was allowed to manage the network.

fred exeter
rich in stockport welcome to planet earth bt ar not mind readers and can not fortell the future.if you want to repair it that urgently you can go go down the tunnel and put the fire out

Anon - Northwest
Why is every one complaining - its nice and quite how ever you have to ask why do BT not have any distaster recovery plans ? Surley there must be more than one route for the calls. I remeber a few years ago some builder cut through the main line between the north and south - did nobody learn any thing?

George, Stockport
And what, being witout a phone for a day or two aint the end of the world, just stop moaning and get on with it.

To Joe,it was designed to withstand 20 kilotons, not 20 megatons. So the questions are; What happened to teh builtin fire supression systems? Wasthis an act of terrorism?

Phil, Birmingham
I've just been told by our ISP that BT engineers can't get down because the tunnel is lined with asbestos !!!

Ray, Levenshulme
Someone should have seen this coming. Especially in the current terrorist climate. Its OK saying we all get a day off work but whatabout the sick and elderly, or those trying to get through to the emergency services. Some of us pay over inflated bills to support BT and have been let down severely. I hope someone gets fired.

Geoff, Disley
A disgrace. There seems to be loads of BT staff on here sticking up for the company. The fact is this shouldnt have happened in the frst place. I have just been on for Corporates and they rattle on about "Business Continuity" as a key USP!!!! I hope Ben Verwayen (BT CEO) is able to identify which of his employees have been coming on line when they should be trying to sort this mess.

Steve, 02 is working it must be your phone

ADSL Call centre Lackey
Well perhaps unusually for such a situation the BT ADSL helpdesk is quieter than the usual monday, although I suppose if the phones are down they ain't gonna call. To save anyone the bother who doea intend on calling for an update we would advise the following course of action. This is one of few pauses in modern life and can be viewed as a chance to escape to the pub for a swift few, it's like when it snowed at school as a child. I'm not being unsympathetic my email lives in Mancunia and I can't check my spam today.

Steve, I think you will find that whatever ISP you use they are severed in someway by the BT infrastructure. This also includes mobiles (Vodafone are one of BT's largest clients as they provide all of the links to the mobile radio stations that we all get our signals)

Anthony, Derbyshire
This also happened about 2 years ago when someone pushed a bin on fire down a hole!!!

Chris Maddocks, Didsbury
Why are so many people complaining that lines are down? What's the matter with these people? Lighten up, stop whineing about not being able to work and enjoy the peace whilst it lasts! Lets hope the lines are down tomorrow too!!!!

Sharon - Manchester
I think people are missing the point. Thank goodness no-one was injured climbing down there to put out the fire. Living without a phone for a short time is a small mercy, grow up and put things in perspective!

Rich, Stockport
BT always uses the excuse that its prices are high because it has to manage the national network. Maybe this show's that they've not even been doing that properly. Someone should get sacked - there regional director for example.

Jackie Smith, Middleton
This could be a blessing in disguise. Noq people will actually have to talk to each other face to face rather than over the phone

It's not anyones fault that this has happened, engineers are still waiting to gain access to the site, give them all a break, lets just hope no-one gets hurt

I don't have inbound e-mail so its not just telephony

Andrew from Cheshire
I have been seriously affected by the fire I cannot get my mobile phone to work as it has affected the O2 service and my hous fone will not work and the internet will not connect as the lines are down!!!

Anon, East Midlands
I take it all these people who are whinging are super human, because obviously they can see into the future and problems never occur in their working lives. If this is the case I'm sure the chaps and chapesses could use your assistance to get everything back up and running. If they are not super human - please can they belt up, take off their rose tinted glasses and get a life. It's not so long ago when we all had lives without phones and internet!

good luck to BT in fixing the lines.

Steve, Manchester
I see everyone is being urged to use their mobile phones! Unfortunately if your on the O2 network like me then you will find that they aren't working either, thank heavens for the Homing Pigeon's!!!

get a descent ISP, one that doesn't have everything on the end of ONE bit of string!

joe whiteley
Built in 1954 to withstand a 20 megaton explosion, instead the tunnel is used as a fibre route by BT and causes catastrophic problems with communications... you've got to laugh, haven't you.

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