Technology – Foot-and-mouth crisis puts BT services on hold.

The foot-and-mouth crisis is starting to have an effect on telecoms repairs and the rollout of new high-speed mobile networks.

Both BT and contractors have admitted the problem is growing and shows no sign of ending.

A BT spokesman said its engineers were having to seek permission for rural access from local authorities and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when they were called to repair faulty or damaged lines.

The number of foot-and-mouth exclusion zones around the UK is still growing as cases of the disease escalate, and BT has admitted an increasing number of lines cannot be repaired.

The building of new telecoms infrastructures to deliver high-speed mobile networks, like GPRS and third-generation (3G), have been put on ice in some areas.

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