Phone lines restored after burglars cut cables

More than 35,000 telephone lines have been restored after engineers worked around the clock to repair cables which were cut by burglars.

British Telecom said services to affected communities in parts of Birmingham and the Black Country, which lost their 999 service due to the damage, were repaired by 4.30am today.

A BT spokesman said six cables had yet to be repaired, meaning a small number of businesses were still waiting for private networks to be reconnected.

However, BT is urging customers to be tolerant because it expects congestion on the affected network and people may have to dial more than once before calls are connected.

It is understood that nothing was taken by the burglars, who broke into a postal sorting office adjoining a BT exchange in Soho Hill, Handsworth, early yesterday.