Seething without phone and internet services for five days after cable theft

A Norfolk village has been left without phone and internet lines for five days after thieves targeted underground cables.

The entire BT phone and internet system has been down across the village of Seething, after thieves stole cable over night on Thursday.

It has caused problems across the village with the school and post office among those affected.

Diane Appleby, head of Seething and Mundham Primary School, said that they had needed to make changes to the way they worked with children and teachers unable to use the internet in lessons and parents unable to phone if their child was off school.

Instead the school had set up a special mobile line which they had sent home to parents and also reverted to paper registers.

Mrs Appleby said: 'We are adapting our lessons to accommodate it. It is amazing how much ICT you use to support your role.'

She added: 'It is frustrating that it is not just a fault but an attack of vandalism and theft, but we adapt, that is what teachers do.'

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Keith Turner, who runs the post office, said it had an impact on some of his services which rely on a phone line which had been an inconvenience for customers without transport.

Mr said: 'Whatever reasons they had to do what they did I'm not sure that anyone predicted the consequences of it.

'It has certainly caused problems for a lot of people.'

Marcia Smith, of School Road, said a letter had been posted through everyone's door in the village explaining the problem.

Frank Mahon, of Upgate Farm, which is based on the outskirts of the village, said it had a tremendous impact on him and his business.

'It is very frustrating. I do have a mobile but the signal is not that good,' he said.

'You make more phone calls than you think, it is amazing how much you use the telephone.'

Openreach engineers have been working in the village since Friday and a spokesman for BT said they hoped to have all services restored by the end of Thursday.

He said: 'Engineers are onsite working around the clock to repair the damage and install replacement cabling. We are doing all we can to get this done as quickly as possible.'

In total they have received 55 reported faults and a �1,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to a conviction.

A Norfolk Police spokesman said the theft at Brooke Road in the village had taken place between 6pm on Thursday and 12.30am on Friday.

Some 25m was left on the side of the road, with a further 25m found nearby at Swargate Lane

Anyone with any information should call Wymondham police station on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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