WORK to replace stolen underground cables in St Johns continued yesterday, with many residents having been without phone or broadband for three days.

Openreach has drafted in engineers from neighbouring areas due to what was described as a “big job” by a spokesman and “made all the more difficult due to the weather”.

There is an outside chance of everything being finished today, but the likelihood is Sunday, he added, though some customers were already re-connected on Thursday afternoon.

On Tuesday two underground cables were cut and stolen, reportedly affecting 2,000 lines in the Worcester ward.

Many residents have struggled to get hold of customer service operatives and have simply been left in limbo, waiting for completion.

On Friday morning, two vans were parked on Henwick Road alongside canvas tents covering holes in the pavement, being used to complete the work.

David James, of Turnpike Close, said yesterday: “It’s been very frustrating.”

He and his wife use Whatsapp to keep in touch with their daughters, with one living in the US and the other elsewhere in the UK.

Mr James said he is also taking a trip to Nottingham on Monday and has been unable to plan his journey without the internet.

“It’s funny because it shows just how dependent we have become [on the internet and landlines] for keeping in touch and doing everyday things,” he added.

The previous day he had told the Worcester News: “The phone is absolutely dead, it’s not as if it’s making scratching noises.

“I have gone through all my stuff from TalkTalk and it primarily gives web addresses, which are no good.”

He said he didn’t want to ring any of the premium numbers on his mobile phone as he is worried about cost.

The Openreach spokesman said: “We are working as quickly as we can do to restore service following the damage to our network.

“It’s a complicated and time-consuming task, but our engineers are making good progress and some people are already re-connected. We’re hopeful that everyone will be back up and running by Sunday at the latest.”

A spokesman had previously described the thefts as “really disappointing” and added Openreach are working closely with Crimestoppers.