BT underfire: Balmacara residents left waiting months for phone line

Balmacara-web

Eilidh and Finlay outside their Balmacara home    Photo: Willie Urquhart

 

By MICHAEL RUSSELL michael.russell@whfp.com

The latest example of poor service from BT came to light this week in Balmacara in Lochalsh.

Families in eight new houses at ‘The Dairy’ in the village have been without broadband and in some cases a landline since the development became occupied in January.

Mrs Eilidh Preston at 12 The Dairy was handed the keys to the property, where she lives with son Finlay and husband Donald James, by the housing association on 25th January. However, she was told that the soonest she could get connected was 8th February.

“Then they told us the 16th February for a connection but nothing happened then either,” she added. “They have given us several updates since then but we have had no firm date from them — they keep messing people around.”

The problems in Balmacara are compounded by the lack of a mobile phone signal in the village.

“If you don’t have a landline then how can you get in touch with anyone?” asked Mrs Preston. “There’s a girl with type one diabetes who is in the primary school where I work and when we need to get in touch with her mum, who is one of the new houses, we can’t.”

A spokesman for BT said: “Engineers have completed the on-site work for the new homes to get service but there have been delays with contractors laying ducts off-site. We’re working to complete this as quickly as possible and would like to apologise for the delay. We’re also arranging for an engineer to visit Eilidh Preston’s home.”