Phones blacked out in mast mix up
9:00am Saturday 12th January 2013 in News
A Pembrokeshire village has had its mobile phone service restored after a two-week blackout, following an intervention by the Western Telegraph.
Residents in Mynachlogddu had been without signal from the telecommunications giant EE, formerly Orange TMobile, for more than two weeks before mobile phone user Colin Temple contacted the paper.
Mr Temple had reported the problem to customer services on December 23rd after more than a week without service, and was told the local transmitter had been switched off and there were no plans to switch it back on.
Mr Temple explained that different people had been given different advice when they complained – from being told they needed to upgrade their phone, to being offered financial compensation.
Mr Temple said EE was the only provider that had ever worked in the village, and the loss of service was “disadvantaging our community’s social, health and safety”, as it was a form of obtaining help when landlines were inoperative.
The Western Telegraph contacted EE and was told there had been a “technical error” and that due to a “misanalysis”
the wrong local mast had been switched off.
An EE spokesman said it was undertaking a £1.5billion network upgrade programme including turning off masts previously covered by both Orange and T-Mobile before they merged.
It said that in the case of Mynachlogddu the wrong mast had been turned off and the situation would be rectified on Friday evening.
The spokesman said it had been a genuine error and that EE was not “recklessly switching off masts” adding it was “very sorry for any inconvenience caused and there was no intent to deny coverage to this area”.
Mr Temple confirmed that service was restored on Monday, but said local people were “sceptical” about how long phones would continue to work as they had been given conflicting explanations.