An award winning Highland hotel, famed within the climbing community, is being brought to its knees by chronic problems with telephone lines and broadband services, it is claimed.

The owners of the Clachaig Inn in Glencoe,which employs around 35 people year round, say they their business has been without broadband and two thirds of its telephone line services for weeks now. And it could be another three weeks before there will be any improvement to the situation. A one and a half mile stretch of underground is the source of the problem.

It has meant they have had to shift their front office PC to a cottage they own in the nearby village of Ballachulish where they now do much of the administration.

“It's a bit awkward when you're charging a beer to your room bill give miles away,” Ed Daynes, Director at Clachaig, said

He said the interruption to service was having a profound effect on the business’s ability to trade,

The inn usually operates six phones lines, plus two broadband lines, but only two were working, making it very difficult to continue to run the business.

He said problems started four weeks ago “Just about everything we do seems to involve getting online at some point, from our managing our reservations, to simply receiving invoices, managing the payroll and paying the bills. We’re even struggling to take payments for bar meals. With just two lines working, and each of our three card terminals requiring a phone line, we’re struggling to process card payments. On a busy weekend, it’s a bit of a nightmare.

“Everything is just grinding to a halt and we’ve spent much of the last month firefighting problems and trying to come up with solutions. We know that we’re now losing business. Some of our customers are going to find wifi at other cafes and bars. This is also the peak time for enquiries, with Easter and the summer season just ahead of us, and we don’t have regular access to emails or the ability to keep our online booking system up to date. “

A BT spokesman said: “We’re sorry that repairs to the affected lines are taking longer than we and the Clachaig Inn would like and we’re investigating the full circumstances."

He said n engineer visited the site on February 25, the day the problems was raised with Openreach. But he was unable to effect repairs as it was identified that a 2.5km stretch of underground cable which runs along the A82 needed to be replaced. "Plans are being drawn up for this work and arrangements made with contractors to allow roadworks to go ahead in line with statutory obligations. However, we’re currently investigating all other options to restore service. Engineers have undertaken some associated cabling in Ballachulish which will help with the repairs and we’ll do everything possible to progress this as quickly as we can,” he said.