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Manchester given all-clear after BT fire

Telco mulls compensation

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Homes and businesses in the North West have had their voice and data services restored a week after a catastrophic fire wiped out more than 130,000 phone lines.

BT engineers have worked round the clock to repair or replace the cables damaged deep underground by the fire, which is thought to have been caused by an electrical fault.

Today, though, BT told people in Manchester that communications links have now been restored throughout the city.

But in case there are any snags, it has a "task force" standing by for when businesses return to work this morning.

Said Paul Reynolds, chief exec of BT Wholesale: "People in Manchester have been very understanding. This fire was unprecedented. We have got service back now, but we will continue on the job to establish the cause."

Anyone in Manchester who believes they are still without full service as a result of fire damage should ring 0800 871 030.

On the matter of compensation, BT still isn't saying much. Residential punters are being advised to lodge their claim via 150 while major business customers should contact their service managers.

Said BT in a statement: "Until the cause of the fire is formally established and BT decides on compensation issues, customers should lodge their claim in the established way." ®

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