By William Jones, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Brazilian network provider Oi has been left facing a customer backlash after construction work on the metro in the Zona Sul (South Zone) neighborhood of Leblon caused severe disruption to its lines of communication, leaving many of its customers incommunicado. The multinational telephone company is blaming MetroRio, who have denied any wrongdoing by saying the phone company were notified with plenty of time to rearrange their lines.
The phone company says that the disruption was caused by a drill, one of the tools used in the new construction of Metro Line 4, but Oi users and local residents are still troubled by the backlash on the provider’s mobile, broadband and landline services. which affected around six hundred homes in the Leblon area. Work is still ongoing to repair the underground cables.
According to Oi, normal service has been resumed to about eighty percent of the affected customers and claim they will be notifying MetroRio of the cost of the damage incurred. However, MetroRio, the consortium responsible for the Metro’s expansion, released a statement denying that they are at fault and say they have not yet received any contact from Oi.
Furthermore, they reminded Oi that they were asked to update their underground network of cables in April 2012, long before work took place on the transport system. MetroRio blamed the disruption of service on Oi lines on the Oi itself.
“Oi’s delay in performing the relocation of their networks leads to the situation that, even today, there are telephone cables inside the construction site, exposing customers to the risk of losses in availability of services,” MetroRio said.
The subway works have left residents of Leblon and Ipanema no water, no gas or no light in the past. In November 2013, two Cedae water pipes had leaks because of the construction of Metro Line 4 in the Ipanema’s Garden of Allah park and Rua Barão da Torre, leaving residents without running water.
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