Engineer goes wild for keeping remote customers connected during Covid

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Openreach engineer Scott McPartlin pitched in to help remote, vulnerable residents on the island of Coll, stay connected during lockdown.

After a lightning strike left the residents with no connection to the outside world, and with three days between ferries and no accommodation available, McPartlin made his way to the island, complete with his own accommodation, in the form of a tent.

After repairing the lightning damage, he set up camp at Feall Beach, where he received an emergency call-out from the island’s surgery to fix a phone fault. He has since been back to the island twice to improve broadband connections.

McPartlin said: ‘The first customer was vulnerable, and he and his wife were self-isolating when their line got hit by lightning. There’s no road from the ferry to their home so it meant a long march over the beach – it was scorching and as much as Coll is stunning, it was tough going.

‘Connectivity has never been more important than it is now, and I’m really happy to help. It’s no hardship as the island is incredibly beautiful and the people here are fantastic. Once they knew what I was doing, they opened up the bunkhouse for me to sleep in. It’ll be top of my list of places to visit out of work, once things get back to normal.’

 

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