14-Feb-2012 12:25

Cable thieves Create BT Outage – Again!

Some Hertfordshire-based BT business & residential clients suffered annoying outages, once again, late last week following further thefts of & damage to underground telecoms cabling.

Even more annoyingly, BT’s responses and customer service advice or explanations to enquiring clients has sadly been less than coherent.

One business client complained bitterly that his business was without broadband and phone lines for nearly two days & he received very little help or advice.

According to local news reports, the local police, the Hertfordshire Constabulary's control room, was also hit by the outages.

Police officers were apparently forced to use backup services whilst BT engineers struggled to reconfigure the cabling.

A BT spokesman responded late on Friday evening & said, “BT have suffered cuts to underground cabling in an apparent attempted cable theft which is affecting some services in the area at the moment. Engineers have been onsite and are urgently working in very difficult conditions to assess the damage and to start to work on repairs. We are doing all we can to get this work completed to start to restore service as quickly as we possibly can."

It is understood that the problem was resolved by midday on Saturday.

The burning question of course is simply; what can be done to halt this damage and continued theft to the telecoms infrastructure?

With copper and other metal prices currently so high, there is continued incentive for thieves to target the cabling.

Perhaps the police should target the unscrupulous metal traders offering spot-cash to these crooks or…?

Answers on a postcard.

> Return to Blogs List    

Contributed by Andrew Horder on 14-Feb-2012 23:46
It's really, really simple, but there's a substantial lobby against it.

Ban scrapyards from dealing in cash.

Traceable payments = risk of getting nicked. And better tax collections, as a side benefit.

But, apparently, it would only push the cash trade underground

Surely if you stop the legit scrapyards (the reactionary in me questions whether there is such a thing) taking cash, you reduce the market for dodgy metals, thus less cable theft.
Contributed by Norman Feiner on 14-Feb-2012 18:38
Criminals already utilise "copper detectors" Mike...

The gangs used to call 'em "Lookouts"
Contributed by Mike Morrison on 14-Feb-2012 18:36
then the firms need to advertise the fact (stickers or labels) - or someone could sell a "copper" detector - aka diy metal detectors to this market place wink
Contributed by William Buist on 14-Feb-2012 18:01
The signalling between Cardiff and Swansea on the welsh mainline is all fibre optic, the cables are regularly stolen by thieves looking for copper, because until they rip them out and burn off the rubber casings they can't tell the difference.

Travel on the line as I do and you wonder at the stupidity of the thieves, but one thing is clear.

replacing copper with glass makes no discernible difference to the disruption.
Contributed by Norman Feiner on 14-Feb-2012 16:52
Cheaper? Replacing copper, sadly.
Contributed by Mike Morrison on 14-Feb-2012 16:51
what is more expensive.. replacing the copper upteen times of investing in the fast infrastructure the gov & end users aspire to?
Contributed by Jeff Mowatt on 14-Feb-2012 14:03
nterestingly it was common in the Russia of a decade ago and probably still is. In the wake of their economic crisis those stealing telephone cable would often cut off an entire town.

A symptom of our own economic crisis perhaps?
Contributed by Norman Feiner on 14-Feb-2012 14:03
Bit too simplistic Mike, & far too expensive in the short term I'm afraid :(
Contributed by Mike Morrison on 14-Feb-2012 14:02
maybe its time BT stopped putting copper in the ground & started to use fibre optice instead

value of recycled glass anyone??
Contributed by Steve Hall on 14-Feb-2012 13:03
Wireless is the future!
Select the country you want to call:
Call us Freefone 0800 619 2626
Earn £££s Become an Agent
Recommend a Friend