BT slammed in broadband cut off battle

'Victory for consumers', claims mortgage firm

BT was rapped by a County Court judge this week after it failed to overturn an injunction taken out by a mortgage company which had been left without internet access by a bodged engineering job.

Independent broker Capital Fortune took out the emergency injunction against BT last Friday after workers accidentally cut off broadband to its London service centre on April 15. The injunction required BT to restore access immediately, which it did over the weekend, though its lawyers had earlier argued this was physically impossible.

BT challenged the injunction, fearing it might open the sluice gate for legal action from stranded broadband customers, but lost the fight this Wednesday when Capital Fortune's injunction was upheld in an interim judgement. The judge at Clerkenwell and Shoreditch County Court ordered it to pay costs, and the case now moves onto a trial for substantive damages, set for sometime in summer.

A spokesman for BT told The Reg: "BT tries to provide the best service possible to all of its customers all of the time. We were already dealing with the fault that had caused a break in broadband service to Capital Fortune and we were already doing all we could to restore service to them as quickly as possible."

"There was no judgement on whether BT was in breach of contract because the judge did not consider that. Substantive proceedings will continue at a later date and it would be inappropriate for BT to comment further at this stage."

Capital Fortune, representing itself, told the court that the telco's technical gaffe had endangered its business, and left home buyers unable to complete their mortgage arrangements.

Capital Fortune boss Rob Killeen said it would be reviewing its communications options once its contract with BT expires in June. ®

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