BT has blamed a blocked duct and delays in getting permission to dig up a road for its four-month failure to provide phone and broadband lines to new homes in North Walsham.

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As reported last week, residents in King’s Close have been given a series of dates since May when BT promised to connect them, but it is believed 15 out of 16 homes are still waiting.

Residents affected include Lorraine Farrow, 61, who is seriously ill and waiting for a double lung transplant. Mrs Farrow fears doctors and Papworth Hospital may have trouble reaching her as she is having to rely on a mobile phone with a “touch and go” signal.

Now BT has warned that the work cannot be carried out before the end of the month.

A spokesman said the duct under the road they had planned to use was found to be blocked, after a time-consuming excavation. It could not be fixed so a new 64m length of duct was needed in a different place, requiring up to three months’ notice to the highways authority to dig up the road again.

“Our contractor has applied to the local authority for permission to carry out this work and the council have ruled that the work cannot be carried out before September 30,” said the spokesman. Customers could discuss compensation with BT Retail when the work had been completed.

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