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BT's great hole of Ilford still causing grief

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BT is still working to fix problems created by a tunnelling machine which crashed through one of its deep level tunnels cutting fibre optic and copper lines early on Saturday afternoon.

The large thrust borer was being operated on behalf of Thames Water - the utility said its machine hit "an uncharted obstruction" later identified as part of BT's network. The depth of the tunnel - either ten metres or 34 metres - meant making repairs was extremely difficult.

Although many people and businesses have had phone and internet access restored, some are still offline, and other services are suffering too.

Mobile network Vodafone sent subscribers this message this morning:

Vodafone have advised us that they are still suffering a reduced service at present in parts of Greater London, Kent and Hertfordshire. This is due to a contractor working on the Olympic site in Stratford cutting through a service tunnel carrying multiple fibre connections for various vendors.

This issue is not confined to Vodafone, other mobile operators and telephony services are also affected.

Vodafone are working with BT to resolve this.

We will provide further updates as soon as we have more information.

BT is working hard to fix the break but warns that some business services, especially those delivered via fibre, may take longer to fix. It is still not offering a completion time.

A BT spokeswoman told us: "We have less than 200 broadband customers still without service and are working to fix that. There are also several mobile phone cell sites affected which we are working on too."

Yesterday Transport for London was facing its third day without central control of traffic lights. ®

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