BT quotes £22,500 for home phone line in Suffolk

Jenny Stephen
Image caption Jenny Stephen is unable to resolve the matter with BT after 18 months of discussion

A woman who asked BT to install a landline at her home was told it would cost more than £22,500.

Jenny Stephen expected BT to connect her home to a telegraph pole visible from her window at a holiday village in Corton, Suffolk.

But BT Openreach quoted her a price of £18,799 plus VAT, saying it was due to the "huge" civil engineering task of laying 400m of underground cables.

Mrs Stephen said: "Maybe it's because I'm old, they think I'm stupid."

She retired to Waterside park on the coast 18 months ago and since then has tried to get BT to install a phone line.

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A neighbouring property has been linked by an overhead line to the telegraph pole on The Street, which is adjacent to the holiday park.

'Complex work'

But BT told Mrs Stephen it would have to dig up the road to install her landline.

Image caption Look East reporter Richard Daniel points out Ms Stephen's house at the end of the nearest block

"[I'm told] there's no option, although a radio link or a link to another house would work," added Mrs Stephen.

"I just want to make a phone call but I can't get any sense out of anybody."

What else could £22,500 buy?

  • A BMW 1 Series 5-door Sports Hatch (prices start at £21,460)
  • Tickets for the entire population of Corton (approximately 1,100) to spend a day at Corton's Pleasurewood Hills theme park, with enough change for an ice cream each
  • Two first class London to Sydney return flights with British Airways and more than £2,000 spending money
  • A 25% stake in a one-bedroom apartment in Ipswich

BT said: "The price quoted is due the huge civil engineering task to provide an underground service to one customer in Waterside Holiday Park.

"In this instance nearly 400m of cabling is required, as well as the need for surveys and complex underground duct work to be installed."

The owners of Waterside said it would be happy for BT to run overhead cables to Mrs Stephen's maisonette.

Image caption The quote itemises all work BT claims it would have to carry out in order to install a line for Mrs Stephen

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