Eircom customers — some of whom have been without a landline phone service for up to a month — may have an even longer wait for restoration of service.
Currently, there are over 8,000 faults in the network, including 1,550 faults across Cork and over 700 in Kerry, following the spate of bad weather, according to the company.
More than 50% of the faults in Cork and Kerry are greater than four working days old and 30% of them are more than 10 working days old. South Kerry, North Central Cork and West Cork are the worst impacted, an Eircom spokeswoman said.
Independent Kerry TD Tom Fleming intends to raise the issue in the Dáil with Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte and will call for an immediate investigation into an ‘’appalling’’ level of service in 2014.
“The poor quality of service is causing a huge inconvenience to homes and businesses and the issue needs to be urgently addressed,’’ he said.
Crews from the east of the country have been drafted into parts of Cork, Kerry and other western counties to carry out repairs.
Eircom said the unprecedented and sustained severe weather in recent weeks caused significant damage to its network resulting in exceptionally high fault levels.
“Fault report rates continue to be significantly above normal average levels, mainly as a result of last weekend’s storms and residual network damage from previous lightning and wind storms since mid-December,’’ the spokeswoman told the Irish Examiner.
More than 3,000 fault reports were received earlier this week.
The spokeswoman said over 70% of faults were repaired within four working days but, due to exceptionally high backlogs in Cork, Kerry, Galway and Mayo, it could be up to two weeks, particularly where extensive cable section replacement as well as network repair is needed.
“We are prioritising customers who have been without service the longest and targeting repairs that get as many people back on line as possible,’’ she said. “Over 50,000 faults have been repaired since mid-December. We have 700 crews currently working on repairs.
“Our repair crews have been working overtime for every weekend and bank holiday since mid-December, with the exception only of Christmas Day.’’
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