HUNDREDS of Openreach customers over the Shropshire border were left without telephone and broadband after thieves stole underground cables.

Up to 2,400 telephone and broadband customers were affected after two incidents this week - one in in Overton-on-Dee, and the other in an area between Southsea and Coedpoeth.

Openreach said it was "really disappointed" about the "criminal behaviour". 

In the first theft between Southsea and Coedpoeth about 700 metres of cables used by 2,000 people were stolen. Then around 800 metres of cables, used by a further 400 customers, were taken in Overton earlier this week.

An Openreach spokesperson said: “We can confirm that around 700 metres of our underground copper cable has been stolen which has badly damaged the network and caused disruption to phone and broadband services to potentially around 2,000 customers in the Southsea and Coedpoeth area.

"We anticipate that full service will start being restored to the first customers later this week but due to the very complex nature of the repair work, which will also need traffic lights in place so that we can carry out the work safely, the work will be completed later next week."

They added: “Earlier this week around 800m of copper cable was also stolen from our network serving around 400 customers in Overton-on-Dee. Work has already commenced to repair the damage and we’re hopeful of restoring full service to customers that have been affected by this theft by end of this week."