Criccieth: The community going without phone signal or wifi weeks after thunderstorm

Mobile phone companies are being urged to restore signal to parts of north Wales where it has been out of action since a thunderstorm more than a fortnight ago.

People in Criccieth and other areas on the Llŷn Peninsula have been largely unable to use mobile phones and wifi ever since.

Pub landlord Phil Eggington is trying to make a living, but his life is not made any easier by the fact that mobile phone signal in the seaside town is patchy, to say the least. And sometimes non-existent.

In an increasingly cash free society, that's a problem - not just for him, but for the whole town.

He said: "One day last week the wifi machine wasn't working at all. The whole block here had no internet. So we had an issue where we've got no way of people paying.

"The cash machine stopped working as well because there was no broadband, no wifi. So we had to ask people coming in for a meal - 'you can have a meal, but have you got the cash?'

Phil Eggington said this time of year, custom is particularly important and they need to have working wifi to help the business.

"There was no way of people paying for anything.

"This time of year we need everything you can get. We see people saying 'sorry' and going elsewhere."

'You can't get any money'

Pub local Phil Morris said: "It's been a big topic of conversation every night in here for the last month. That's all we've been talking about, that nobody's got a signal and it's just going on. 

"If you are  going to use your phone to pay the bills or pay for what you've had you need a mobile signal.

"And the cash machines are not working you can't get any money. So you can't buy what you want to buy because technology is going wrong."

The local MP Liz Saville Roberts and Senedd Member Mabon ap Gwynfor are urging providers to restore mobile phone signal in Criccieth and other parts of the peninsula where there are problems following the thunderstorm three weeks ago.

Meanwhile, at Dylan's Restaurant on the town's esplanade, the frustration with the ongoing situation is clear.

General manager Rhianne Hughes said: "We can be fine in the mornings and it can go down in the middle of shift.

"In the summer months, even a couple of weeks ago, we had a big night with 200 people in and there were no card machines. It's, you know, it is a nightmare. 

"Even things as simple as emails, you know, we've got head office, we do emails constantly.

"We've got WhatsApp messages from head office and things. So if everything just goes, you know, we haven't got it. 

Rhianne Hughes said it is a "nightmare" when signal goes down and they can only take cash.

"So we can't get through we can't ring anybody to say the fact the internet's not working because our phones aren't working. 

"So yeah, it's an ongoing problem."

The telecommunications regulator Ofcom says it is aware that some operators had experienced damage to the networks, and are in contact with them to establish the scale of the problem and time needed to fix it. 

People in Criccieth are just hoping their message gets through