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Voice and data services hit by the devastating underground fire in Manchester earlier this week are expected to be up and running fully again by Monday.

BT has so far restored services to almost all the 138,000 lines wiped out by last Monday's fire.

However, some 900 business and residential customers are still without a service, and there are still ongoing problems with some data services and private circuits.

BT is keen to emphasise the effort and resource it has committed to restoring services following what some have described as a "catastrophic failure of the BT network".

However, as the service is restored, attention will no doubt focus on the cause of the fire and the not-so-small matter of compensation for those affected.

A spokesman for BT said the issue of compensation couldn't be discussed until the cause of the fire was known. "It's a question of liability," he said. ®

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