HUNDREDS of people were without phone and internet connections yesterday after one telephone cable burned out and another was stolen by copper thieves.

Telephone exchanges in Wellington, Taunton, Bishops Lydeard, Williton, Minehead and Cullompton were hit by the problem but only some people within those areas were affected.

A BT spokesman has reported that the problems were caused by scorch damage to a fibre cable in one location and the theft of copper cabling from another. Thousands of homes stretching from Dorset to Somerset have been affected and engineers have been working throughout the day and night to restore connectivity.

Due to the scale of the problem, BT say they cannot yet predict how long the situation will take to resolve.

Mike Turner, of Somerset based business telephone and broadband provider, TurnKeyIT Solutions, confirmed that their customers were experiencing connection problems across the country.

He said: “We have been working tirelessly through the day to attempt to reconnect and divert services for customers ensuring, where possible, that they can stay connected.”