VODAFONE CUSTOMERS in southwest England have been left without mobile access because peregrine falcons have decided to nest on a mobile phone tower.
The network provider was forced to switch off a mast in Southampton because the falcon is a protected species. As a result, mobile users in the area have endured the loss of both 2G and 3G communications.
"We've been speaking with our network teams, who have told us that the signal cannot be restored yet, as we have a Peregrine Falcon nesting on the site," a Vodafone spokesperson said in a statement.
"Falcons are a highly protected species and before we're able to do anything more we have to get the site assessed properly so that anything we do doesn't disturb the birds."
We asked Vodafone when it expects to get everything back up and running. It replied, "At this point we cannot restore the signal on this single site until we have the right advice." Meaning, it can't really do anything until the birds bugger off, which could be as late as December when they migrate south for winter. Where's Billy Casper and his swinging meat when you need him?
Various social media websites and online forums revealed that some Vodafone customers are laying eggs over the debacle.
"Both me and my boyfriend are on Vodafone and have been experiencing signal problems since yesterday evening," said forum member HollyNeave. "We cannot make or receive texts or phone calls, would like to know what is going on?"
Japritchard said he too has no service on his phone. He first noticed the problem on 9 April when it was intermittent but said the outage has since become permanent.
Vodafone users on the Southampton University campus are also taking to Twitter to complain about the bird, which is wreaking havoc amongst students in the area.
"Can't get any signal on Campus because the Vodafone mast is being occupied by a Falcon, So, tweet or FB me if you need me," said @EmzieChar13.
Another user, @Jess_Wilson93 doesn't seem to mind too much, because she's rather fond of her feathered friends,
Almost a week without signal on my phone because falcons are nesting on the vodafone mast in Southampton #idontmindbecauseilikebirds— Jess Wilson (@Jess_Wilson93) April 15, 2013
Vodafone said other masts at sites surrounding the falcons' location will be taking some of the load while it looks to restore service, and said it is very sorry for the inconvenience caw-cawsed. µ
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