Exchange fault knocks out phone lines

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A TOTAL of 12,000 homes and businesses lost phone services following a fault at a British Telecom (BT) exchange.

Phone lines went dead across the town last Thursday afternoon after an equipment problem at the exchange in Leicester, BT said.

The problem started shortly after 1pm and lasted most of the afternoon.

BT said most lines were back in service by 5pm and that services were fully restored by 9.30pm.

The fault affected homes and businesses across the town as well as Harborough District Council’s Lifeline service.

The scheme offers a 24-hour alarm system for vulnerable people, putting them in immediate touch with help in the case of an emergency at home but was knocked out for several hours by the fault.

Speaking about the issue during the council’s ruling executive committee meeting on Monday, Cllr Colin Golding requested the council looked into the possibility of a back-up mobile phone system in case the problem happens again.

A spokesman for BT told the Mail: “We had an exchange equipment problem which affected some services in the region, mainly in parts of Market Harborough, Hinckley and Haymarket.

“Engineers worked to restore services and these were progressively restored during the afternoon. We believe around 12,000 customers in Market Harborough may have been impacted by this at some point.”