BT once stated "It's good to talk" but for several residents in Alloa just talking proved a problem over the festive period.

Customers living in the Sunnyside Road area had their landline cut off for two months as engineers struggled to deal with a cable fault.

An extensively water-logged cable was blamed for the initial fault and BT arranged to re-lay 80 metres.

However "unexpected engineering difficulties" meant work on the line was not completed until Monday afternoon - almost two months after the problem was first reported.

It meant that residents were unable to use their landlines and get internet access over Christmas and New Year.

Tracey MacRobert, who lives in Hill Street, was one of several households affected by the cable fault.

She said, "It has been more annoying and frustrating. Over the festive period having to use my mobile phone to make calls costs a lot. My friends and family had to curb their calls as it is too expensive to call a mobile.

"My disabled mother called me from her mobile thinking it would be cheaper and one call cost her over �17." Tracey claims her mobile bill almost doubled over the period.

She went on, "I couldn't use all of the 'on demand' features on my Sky, my broadband worked but the speed was reduced. I'm lucky I have a mobile to fall back on. I don't know what calls I have missed though." A BT spokesperson told the Advertiser that when the new cable was about to be installed a build up of silt blocked access to the area.

Further problems with the line and issues over access through the Clackmannanshire Council's road department all contributed to the delay.

Engineers returned on Monday and the fault was finally fixed later that afternoon.

A spokesperson for BT apologised for the length of time taken for repairs.

She explained, "We're sorry the repairs took longer than usual and we'd like to thank the local community for the patience shown while we overcame these additional hurdles."