TV, phones and internet wiped out in drilling gaffe at Haggerston estate

People on the Laburnum Estate have had no internet, TV or phone lines since May, because developers

People on the Laburnum Estate have had no internet, TV or phone lines since May, because developers cut through the Virgin media cables. (Picture: Nigel Sutton) - Credit: Nigel Sutton

An estate has been sent back to the 1940s after builders wiped out the phone, TV and internet connections by cutting through wires.

People are up in arms on the Laburnum Estate in Haggerston over the gaffe, which has left them without phone lines for more than eight weeks.

Construction workers mistakenly drilled through the Virgin Media cables on a nearby site on May 13. Virgin, which has apologised for the loss of service, was able to temporarily fix the broadband and TV services, but that too has now gone down.

“We’ve got one woman who cares for her sister and is really anxious because she now can’t contact her,” said Sam Shakes, a 44-year-old freelance writer representing more than 20 affected households.

“People are incurring expenses on their mobiles that they can’t afford. I’m about to publish my third book and I need the internet,


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“One older woman told me she’s been travelling to the Virgin Media store in Stratford because it’s the only place she can talk to someone face-to-face.

“We are still being charged the full cost. We have been told they will reimburse us for lack of service but what about compensation for our costs?”

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A Virgin Media spokeswoman said staff were working hard to resolve the issue. She said: “We apologise to customers for their reported loss of service. The original issue was a result of our cables being mistakenly cut by builders on a nearby site.

“We set up a temporary reconnection of broadband and TV, but will investigate why this hasn’t been delivering the standard service over the last week or so.

“We are working hard to fix the problem and would like to thank those affected for their patience.”

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