Two BT Openreach engineers, along with staff from BT, TalkTalk and Sky recognised on Queen’s birthday honours list for keeping country connected
Pete Martin and Scott McPartlin are named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, along with other figures from the telecoms industry.
Martin, 53, from Norfolk, has worked for Openreach for nearly 23 years and worked to build a full-fibre network for residents of Sudbrook, Lincolnshire, who struggled to work remotely during the pandemic due to slow speeds.
He also worked through the night on the Friday before Christmas to get a line restored to the stable block on the Queen’s Sandringham estate.
Martin, pictured on the left, described the honour as “unbelievable” and added, “I’ve had to keep it a secret from everyone except my wife, so I’m looking forward to sharing this amazing recognition with the rest of the team.”
McPartlin, 46, of South Lanarkshire, camped for three days on the island of Coll in the Inner Hebrides while working to restore services after a lightning strike.
His work involved a three-mile hike over a beach carrying his tools during a heatwave and fixing the phone line of a resident who was shielding.
McPartlin, pictured on the right, camped during the three days between ferries as no accomodation was available due to Covid-19 restrictions.
He said he was “in total shock” on receiving the honour.
“I was lucky enough to get to go to Coll and I’ve now been mentioned in the House of Commons and recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, all for doing my job,” he said.
Peter Harding and Andrew Miller, both senior managers at TalkTalk Business, are to receive MBEs after being on call “day and night” to ensure hospitals, care homes, surgeries and other critical sites stayed connected as the lockdown took hold.
Also receiving honours are BT’s John Hayday, Reza Rahnama, Karen Smith and Gemma Towers, as well as Sky’s managing director of customer service, Denise Allan, and her colleague, Ijeoma Nwamaka Ezeilo, for their services to the telecommunications industry during the crisis.
It is believed this is the first time telecoms workers have been recognised on the annual list.